Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including: High blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and even heart attacks.
You should seek the advice of a medical professional if you or your partner notices the following:
Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
Episodes of breathing interruption during sleep
Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath
Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
Difficulty staying asleep
There is hope:
Your doctor may make an evaluation based on your signs and symptoms or may refer you to a sleep disorder center. There, a sleep specialist can help you decide on your need for further evaluation.
Such an evaluation often involves overnight monitoring of your breathing and other body functions during sleep.