Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs at night and can disrupt your sleep. However, since it occurs at night, you may have a difficult time determining whether sleep apnea affects you. Identifying whether you suffer from sleep apnea is the first part of seeking treatment.
Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, you may find that you are groggy throughout the day. You will feel as if you have simply not received a refreshing night of sleep. Because of a lack of sleep, you may suffer from memory loss. You may wake up irritable and have a difficult time concentrating. You may also suffer from headaches every morning. Make sure to write down your experiences for when you see a medical specialist.
Discussing Sleep Apnea with a Medical Professional
When you are not sure about whether you are suffering from sleep apnea, you will want to speak with a medical professional. He or she will review your medical history and symptoms. He or she will look for risk factors and whether you have another condition that may cause a patient to develop sleep apnea.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
A physical exam can reveal warning signs of sleep apnea. Symptoms include large tonsils, obesity, or a large neck circumference. If you have a neck circumference that is larger than 16 inches, you will be more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.
The Role of a Sleep Center
In some cases, the only way to truly know if you suffer from sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep study by a sleep specialist. You will either be asked to sleep at the center or at home. The specialist will try to detect apnea events, which occur when your sleep slows down. The specialist may detect activity related to the muscles that control breathing.
By monitoring your heart or brain activity, a specialist could determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea and how severe the condition is. He or she may also monitor your blood oxygen levels.
One of the most important parts of diagnosing sleep apnea is to rule out other potential causes. Your exhaustion might be the result of any number of other conditions, such as hypothyroidism. But through careful study, a specialist will be able to determine why you feel so exhausted and will prescribe a treatment. Lifestyle changes may also help you cope with sleep apnea or may even cure the condition.
Contact a clinic like Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC for more information.