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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

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    The Sleep Health Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of ‘valuing sleep’ as part of a healthy lifestyle alongside regular exercise, a … View Profile

    The common symptoms that the bed partner identifies are: snoring, gurgles or chokes, irregular or laboured breathing, breath holding and, restlessness or leg jerks. The sleep apnoea patient often describes: broken sleep, with awakenings, lack of refreshment in the mornings with tiredness or lethargy or a sense of hangover. Sometimes headaches and dry mouths are present in the morning.
    During the day patients often describe: a sense that their thinking isn't clear, or having a cloudy mind, and that they seem always fatigued, and maybe even sleepy. Some people find it hard to concentrate, or cannot memorise even simple things. Consequently exaggerated anxiety, or lowered mood and even depression are common.
    Sleepiness that is unexplained, particularly if someone feels that had enough sleep is a very common symptom. Such sleepiness can be mild eg falling asleep on the train, or can be major such as when driving a car on highways, or at the red lights. Sleepiness like this should not be ignored, as significant sleepiness may put you into dangerous situations.
    There are other symptoms, and this isn't an exhaustive list!: lowered libido, erectile dysfunction, passing urine at night, breathlessness during the day, nighttime palpitations or reflux, symptoms difficult to differentiate from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, inability to lose weight, increasing appetite, poorly controlled blood pressure or blood pressure requiring numerous medications, poorly controlled diabetes. For more information on sleep apnea click here.

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