If you suspect you have a sleep apnea, one of the first steps is to assess your level of daytime sleepiness. Some patients do not realize just how tired they are. They have come to accept that low energy and difficulty concentrating is the norm for them. Becoming more in tune with how you are feeling and realizing that being tired all the time is not normal, is an important first step.
Another step is to ask someone who has observed you sleeping. Do you snore? How loudly? Have you ever stopped snoring abruptly, followed by silence, followed by a cough, sputter or gasp for breath? Ask them if you are a restless sleeper. Are they losing sleep because of your sleep patterns?
If you can identify with any or all of the following symptoms, you might have a form of sleep apnea:
- Snoring that may disrupt the sleep of others
- Gasping, coughing or choking upon waking
- Waking with your heart racing
- Waking up tired after a full night's sleep
- Feeling very sleepy during the day
- Falling asleep without intending to
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Feeling irritable, short-tempered
- Weight gain, inability to lose weight
- Acid Reflux in adults
- AD/HD in children
- TMJ Problems/Teeth Grinding
Dr. Gruenes may ask you to perform a sleep study to determine what kind of sleep apnea you have. A sleep study gives the best picture of how you breathe when you sleep. It provides information regarding apneas, hypopneas, pulse, blood pressure and other physiological processes.