In this article, we share some common signs of OSA you must look out for.

Common Signs Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

You might experience waking up drenched in sweat frequently during the night if you have OSA

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder characterised by repeated episodes of partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, leading to breathing pauses, often accompanied by snoring or choking sounds. These interruptions in breathing can last from a few seconds to over a minute and occur multiple times an hour, disrupting sleep and reducing oxygen levels in the blood. Recognising these signs, particularly when they occur together, can prompt individuals to seek medical evaluation, typically through a sleep study, to confirm the diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment. Read on as we share some common signs of OSA you must look out for.

Here are some common signs of OSA to look out for:

1. Loud snoring

Loud snoring is often reported by a bed partner. It is loud, frequent, and can be heard through closed doors. Use positional therapy (e.g., sleeping on the side), avoid alcohol and sedatives before bedtime, and use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine if diagnosed with OSA.

2. Episodes of stopped breathing during sleep

It can be observed by a bed partner or recorded using sleep monitoring devices. You must seek medical evaluation for a sleep study. Treatment may include CPAP, oral appliances, or surgery.

3. Gasping or choking during sleep

Waking up suddenly with a sensation of choking or gasping for air may be a sign that you have OSA.  Medical evaluation for sleep apnea is essential incase you experience choking or gasping during sleeping.

4. Excessive daytime sleepiness

Feeling extremely tired during the day, and falling asleep at inappropriate times (e.g., while driving or working) can be another sign of OSA. Ensure adequate sleep hygiene, manage stress, and seek treatment for sleep apnea.

5. Morning headaches

Another common sign of OSA is frequent headaches upon waking up that typically improve within a few hours. Treat the underlying sleep apnea, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime, and consider using a CPAP machine.

6. Difficulty concentrating

Problems with memory, focus, or maintaining attention during the day maybe caused due to OSA. Address the sleep apnea with appropriate treatments like CPAP, maintain a regular sleep schedule, and reduce screen time before bed.

7. Mood changes, such as depression or irritability

Noticeable changes in mood, feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings can indicate OSA. Treat the underlying sleep disorder, consider seeing a therapist, and practice stress-reducing techniques like mindfulness or yoga.

8. High blood pressure

Blood pressure readings might appear consistently above normal levels if you have OSA. Often identified during routine medical check-ups. You are encouraged to manage the sleep apnea, adopt a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take prescribed blood pressure medications.

9. Nighttime sweating

You might experience waking up drenched in sweat frequently during the night if you have OSA. Treat this by keeping the bedroom cool, and avoiding heavy blankets.

If you or someone you know exhibits several of these signs, it is crucial to seek medical advice. A sleep study can diagnose OSA, and a healthcare provider can recommend appropriate treatment based on the severity of the condition.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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