Sleep Apnea is a very common health condition experienced by millions of people around the world.
There are several types of the medical condition that can affect an individual, but of them it is obstructive sleep apnea that is the most common, as well as oftentimes the most serious.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the passages to the airways are obstructed, thus causing a delay or pause in the breathing pattern.
Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea can stop breathing several times per night, and when it is severe, that is usually the case. Additionally there are a number of consequences that come along with the condition.
Both children and adults can be affected with obstructive sleep apnea, but it is a sad fact that so many people who have the condition do not even realize that they are affected.
What are the Symptoms?
Children and adults have their own unique symptoms in relation to sleep apnea. It is usually easier to determine the presence of the condition in an adult than it is to diagnose in a child.
Some of the signs are similar or the same, but there are also things that adults experience that children do not, and vice versa.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms that adults and children experience when they have obstructive sleep apnea.
Symptoms for Children
Children of all ages can experience obstructive sleep apnea. It is common for children in the 6 to 12 year-old range to have sleep apnea.
As a parent, knowing the signs of the condition is imperative, and can be the best way to eliminate it before it becomes a bigger issue.
Obstructive sleep apnea for children symptoms include:
Bedwetting is oftentimes a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Often the condition is the cause of the condition of bedwetting to develop, but at other times it is related to the child being unable to sleep well at night, and simply being too tired to wake themselves to go to the bathroom.
Around 20% of all children snore. This is not a symptom alone. However, when there are also other symptoms present, snoring is a symptom.
Children with behavior problems often receive a diagnosis of a behavioral or emotional problem, such as ADHD. However, a large number of these children are actually suffering with sleep apnea.
A variety of behavioral problems can result due to the lack of sleep that the child is receiving. Those behavior problems include poor concentration, hyperactivity, irritability, sleeping during the day and not paying attention.
Children with sleep apnea are reported to score worse on tests as well as have more incidents of trouble while at school. Behavior problems at home are also prominent in children with sleep apnea.
Problems with Growth
Children with sleep apnea often do not gain weight as they should. As a result they are often underweight compared to other children their age.
These are just some of the many problems that a child who is bothered with sleep apnea can experience.
Symptoms for Adults
There are many symptoms that an adult will experience when obstructive sleep apnea is bothering them. In addition to the immediate symptoms, there are also a number of lifelong consequences that can result.
Among the obstructive sleep apnea symptoms experienced by an adult include:
– Problems with sexual relationships, which can include problems maintaining an erection
– Dry mouth
– Feeling tired during the day
– Unable to concentrate on even simple tasks
– Falling asleep during the day
– Night sweats
– Morning or night time headaches
– Depression and forgetfulness
In addition to the immediate symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea, there are also long-term consequences that are related to the condition.
Those who are affected have an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, as well as an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
There are so many long-term implications of sleep apnea that you should be aware of, and your doctor can give you that detailed list.
Both children and adults who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
In addition, people who do not live a healthy lifestyle by eating the right foods and staying active are at an increased risk.
Again, obstructive sleep apnea affects all patients differently, and this is not a complete list of the things that can happen. Only your doctor can provide a complete list of the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Cases of Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea
It is usually much easier to diagnose a severe case of sleep apnea quicker than one that isn’t quite so severe.
It is important that contact with the doctor be made immediately if you suspect that you have sleep apnea. There are many things that the doctor can do to treat the condition and to get your life back in order.
The doctor will generally recommend that you start making a number of lifestyle changes. If you do not exercise on a regular basis, this is something that you need to start doing.
It takes only thirty minutes of vigorous activities each day to help. Make sure that you are eating the right kind of foods.
Avoid sugary sweet things whenever it is possible, and make sure that the beverage chosen above all others is H2O.
The Bottom Line
Severe obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition. It is also one that is oftentimes misdiagnosed. Now that you are aware of the signs and symptoms of the condition you can talk to your doctor before it is too late if you suspect this condition is something that is affecting your life.
Only your doctor can diagnose the condition so do not put off that visit any longer. Your health, your well-being is at stake, and you do not want to take any chances with something so important.