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What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Snoring, daytime sleepiness and fatigue are the most common symptoms of this disorder and may affect up to 10 percent of adults. The majority of patients with sleep apnea snore heavily. The sleep of family members will be disturbed by the persistence and volume of the snoring, which may drive the bed partner from the room.
Apnea patients may have difficulty falling asleep or have disrupted sleep with early morning awakenings. Sometimes apnea sufferers awaken frequently to urinate, attributing this to a bladder problem rather than a sleep disorder causing arousal.
The sleep of apnea patients is not refreshing and patients are often just as tired in the morning as when they went to sleep. Some patients have a dry mouth, sore throat or even a headache upon awakening.
Most apnea patients have daytime fatigue and sleepiness. The tendency to doze can be severe and often occurs during sedentary activities, such as watching TV, reading or sitting at meetings.
Dozing off while driving may happen as well. Patients who start to fall asleep while driving may go off the road or hit the median stripes. Car crashes are more common in sleep apnea patients with the highest risk times being 3 p.m. and 4 a.m. The history of a car crash can be the most significant predictor of a future sleep-related auto mishap.