The Symptom That Led to My Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
Last updated: May 2022
There are several different symptoms that are common for people that suffer from sleep apnea that lead to a diagnosis. Some of these, such as feeling tired or snoring, are 2 of the most common. Here's a little about my symptoms and the symptom that led me to get checked by my doctor.
Common sleep apnea symptoms leading to my diagnosis
Snoring is a common symptom, and I snored pretty heavily before I even went for a sleep apnea examination. I thought age and being overweight led to my many nights on the couch.
You may snore and not have sleep apnea, but if you snore or snore loudly, it's a good idea to get checked for sleep apnea as it's 1 of the main symptoms that most of us suffer from. Thankfully with my CPAP mask, I now don't snore at all.
I used to suffer from extreme sleepiness in the daytime. This is another common symptom of sleep apnea. For example, I would often fall asleep in my chair while writing. I didn't understand why I felt so tired.
This sleepiness would often cause me to fall asleep before lunch and carry into the afternoon hours. I wasn't sleeping properly because my sleep apnea was undiagnosed. If you fall asleep easily during the day, get checked as it's another common apnea symptom.
Another symptom of sleep apnea is fatigue. This can leave you feeling run down and unable to do anything without needing to rest.
I suffered from extreme fatigue before I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. This required me to nap several times per day even though I had 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
When you lack sleep, you may feel irritable. This is another symptom of sleep apnea. I would often feel this way before my diagnosis because I wasn't getting the sleep I needed each night.
You might not associate headaches with sleep apnea, but this can be a symptom that often goes undiagnosed. We usually think of snoring or sleepiness as the condition's main symptom.
I used to wake up in the morning with severe headaches. These are the kind that requires you to take pills and then lay down for a couple of hours. I couldn't do much of anything when I had these headaches. It was an indication that I had an issue that needed addressing.
Headaches helped diagnose my sleep apnea
My morning headaches indicated that something was wrong, so I went to the doctor. He noted that I should take a sleep study, so I did. It turns out that I had moderate sleep apnea, which means I was waking up several times per night and not getting the quality sleep I needed.
If you have any of these symptoms, it's essential to get checked. If any of them are severe, there's a good chance that you have sleep apnea. Not all symptoms indicate apnea, but there are warning signs, so don't ignore them.
I'm glad I had my headaches checked as now I no longer have them. My CPAP machine and mask make me feel better than I did before my diagnosis.
Share your symptoms and diagnosis experience with others in the sleep apnea community or comment here. Remember, you are not alone.
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