Everyone snores occasionally. However, persistent snoring can not only be an annoyance; it can be a symptom of a more serious problem called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes interruptions in breathing during sleep and it sufferers waken frequently, though they may not be aware of it. Because their nights are so restless, they spend their days feeling tires, but they don?t know the reason why. Those with sleep apnea may snore loudly and choke and gasp as they struggle to breathe. Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause shortness of breath, chest pain and can even lead to high blood pressure which can cause other serious health problems such as heart disease or stroke.
Your answers to this quiz will help you decide whether you may suffer from sleep apnea:
- Are you a loud, habitual snorer?
- Do you feel tired and groggy on awakening?
- Are you often sleepy during waking hours and/or can you fall asleep quickly?
- Are you overweight and/or do you have a large neck?
- Have you been observed to choke, gasp, or hold your breath during sleep?
If you or someone you know answers “Yes” to any of these questions, you should discuss your symptoms with your physician or a sleep specialist.
Different treatment options exist; which one is right depends upon the severity of your apnea and other aspects of the disorder. Talk to your doctor about your choices. Left untreated, sleep apnea can be extremely serious and should never be ignored!