Sleep Apnea: What Is It And How Is It Diagnosed?

If you wake up every morning feeling tired after you got a good night's sleep, you may be wondering what the problem is. Sleep apnea can be a serious condition that affects your sleep. Make an appointment with your primary physician as soon as possible if you suspect you have sleep apnea. 

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep condition that can affect your brain's ability to get oxygen. While sleeping, your breathing may start and stop more than normal. There are a few types of sleep apnea that your doctor may diagnose you with.

The types of sleep apnea can include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when there is a blockage in your airways. These blockages can decrease or stop the airflow completely. 
  • Central sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send signals to breathe to the respective part of the body. 
  • Complex sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when someone has both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. 

Keep an eye out for the symptoms of sleep apnea as it can potentially be dangerous. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are common symptoms that you can watch for if you are worried you may have or may develop sleep apnea.

Those symptoms can include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Dry mouth
  • Waking up to urinate at night
  • Gasping while sleeping
  • Asthma worsening

The snoring and gasping may be something that a partner or family member will have to watch for you. If you experience multiple symptoms, make an appointment to see a physician—such as Upstate Sleep Solutions.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

When you take your sleep apnea concerns to your physician, they may start by running a few tests to eliminate some other possibilities. There are also a couple of tools that your physician may use to help diagnose sleep apnea. 

First, your physician may ask you to participate in a sleep study. A sleep study is conducted by a specialist and will help determine which type of sleep apnea you have and if it is a serious issue. This will require you to sleep and a sleep specialist will monitor your behavior and vitals for the duration. 

Another tool your physician may want to try is a sleep diary. Your physician will need accurate information to diagnose you and may need you to track your sleeping patterns. You will need to track things like when you go to sleep, how long you sleep, how well you sleep, etc.