Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes a person to stop breathing while asleep. Sleep interruptions may occur infrequently or hundreds of times per night.
Sleep apnea manifests in one of two ways. The airway becomes blocked during sleep when patients have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Central sleep apnea (CSA) results in brain signals failing to control breathing while asleep. The main complication of sleep apnea is decreased oxygen intake. This often causes other health issues that create a cycle that further worsens symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring
- Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headache
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Experiencing mood changes, such as depression or irritability
- High blood pressure
- Nighttime sweating
- Decreased libido