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What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious respiratory disorder with numerous potential causes. Some of the risk factors may include physiognomic causes, heredity, age or smoking.

The physical and mental consequences of this disorder are quite severe and can seriously diminish the quality of life of those who have it.

Do you think you suffer from this disorder? Here are some of the main symptoms of sleep apnea.

1. Non-restorative sleep

The first symptom of sleep apnea is poor sleep. The disorder can lead to frequent pauses in breathing that can last a few seconds. As a result, micro awakenings disrupt normal sleep cycles and result in a non-restorative and restless sleep.

2. A feeling of suffocation upon waking up

Obstructive sleep apnea causes partial or complete airway closure during sleep. A person suffering from this disorder could wake up with the feeling of having been suffocated.

People with a receding chin or small jaw are more likely to have this problem and often require orthognathic surgery to correct it.

3. Loud snoring

A fairly common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring when sleeping. If your snoring interferes with you or your partner’s sleep, it could indicate that you have sleep apnea.

4. Irritability and significant mood swings

In the long term, poor quality sleep can significantly impact your mood, which is why increased irritability is one of the warning signs of sleep apnea.

Someone suffering from sleep apnea may also have significant mood swings. For example, sleep apnea sufferers often experience anxiety and sometimes even depression.

5. Inability to concentrate

Since sleep apnea causes the brain to never completely rest, concentration and memory can also be affected by this disorder. This can impair your work or school performance.

6. Headaches upon waking up

Morning headaches are often linked to sleep apnea. These headaches typically go away as your day starts.

7. Daytime drowsiness and uncontrolled sleepiness

Do you always fall asleep when watching TV at night, or always feel tired, even in the middle of the day?

The accumulation of fatigue caused by sleep apnea can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness. This symptom can greatly lower your quality of life and cause you to fall asleep at work, or worse, while driving. You should consult a healthcare professional if this starts happening to you.

8. Decreased libido

Decreased libido or erectile dysfunction may also be symptoms of sleep apnea. Intense fatigue can affect the sexual desire of individuals with sleep disorders.

Orthognathic surgery: one possible solution for sleep apnea

These are the main symptoms of sleep apnea. If you recognize these symptoms, you should see a doctor quickly to find out if you are suffering from this respiratory disorder.

At Clinique Evoro, we offer orthognathic surgery to help certain patients with sleep apnea. Dre Sarah Théberge, maxillofacial surgeon, can advise you on repositioning your jaw to reduce or completely treat the effects of this disease. 

For more information on our maxillofacial surgery services  or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact us.