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Could You Have Sleep Apnea? - Consumer Wellness Tips from Ritch's Pharmacy and HealthMart

(PRWEB) August 19, 2013

Does your snoring raise the dead—or at least prompt a swift kick? Has your partner or spouse said that you gasp or snort, or make choking sounds while asleep? Are you finding yourself way too drowsy during the day, despite getting a "good night's sleep"?

These can be major signs of a common disorder called sleep apnea. Other signs may include:

?Waking often to urinate
?Morning headaches
?Memory or concentration problems
?Irritability, depression, or mood swings
?Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening

With sleep apnea, you breathe shallowly or have regular pauses in your breathing that can last from a few seconds to minutes. This may occur when the airway collapses or becomes blocked from extra tissue or other causes. Breathing pauses can happen many times a night, often moving you out of deep sleep into light sleep.

News flash: your body and brain need oxygen—and lots of it! Sleep apnea can be serious. It isn't something to ignore. The problem is, lots of people don't know they have it because there is no simple test to detect the condition. And your doctor can't confirm it during a routine office visit.

Feeling tired a lot may be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Sleepiness can lead to work-related or driving accidents. And, if left untreated, sleep apnea can also increase the risk of:

?High blood pressure
?Heart attack
?Heart failure
?Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)

Suddenly that signature snoring seems a little less funny, doesn't it? If you have signs of sleep apnea, have a conversation with your physician. You might need a sleep study to confirm a diagnosis. Snoring doesn't always mean you have sleep apnea.

A sleep study tests how well you sleep and how your body responds to any problems wit

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