Is it sleep apnea?

When you hear from your partner that you have a snoring problem, it’s easy to think the worst. I have sleep apnea, I’ll have to wear that big ugly mask, my partner will never sleep with me again etc.

However, snoring is just one symptom of sleep apnea, and just because you are a snorer does not automatically mean that you have sleep apnea. Close to 90 million Americans have night time snoring, but sleep apnea actually only affects about half of those people, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.

If you want the snoring to stop for the sake of both you and your partner, it is important to have an idea of whether your noise at night is just noise, or if it is something more serious.

Here are some factors that may determine whether or not you are at risk for sleep apnea:

  • If you are choking or gasping for air in your sleep
  • If you wake up feeling tired, and feel tired throughout the day
  • If you feel restlessness at night
  • If you are obese, middle-aged and/or male

Whether or not you exert any of these symptoms, it does not hurt to make an appointment with your doctor. If you are not a likely candidate for sleep apnea, your doctor can help you to figure out if there is anything that can be done to curb your snoring at night, even if it’s just for the sake of your partner’s sanity. Even a lifestyle change like losing a little weight can go a long way.

If you are a likely candidate for sleep apnea, don’t fret. It is not the end of the world if you do have this condition. There are many options for treatment available that can give you an infinitely better quality of life and leave you feeling more rested and energised throughout the day.

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