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The symptoms of sleep apnea when it’s occurring may include:

  • Very loud snoring
  • Episodes of long pauses of interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Possibly struggling, snorting, gasping, choking, and partially or completely awakening in an attempt to restart breathing

Symptoms that occur as a result of these episodes of sleep apnea may include:

  • Disturbed rest
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Problems staying alert or paying attention
  • Irritability
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty learning
  • Decreased energy
  • Headache
  • Sexual problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Hyperactivity in children
  • Confusion

References:

Being evaluated for sleep apnea. American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: http://www.sleepapnea.org/resources/pubs/evaluated.html . Published May 2005. Accessed September 17, 2008.

Fact sheet: pediatric sleep disordered breathing/obstructive sleep apnea. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Could-Child-Have-Sleep-Apnea.cfm . Updated November 15, 2011. Accessed June 3, 2013.

NINDS sleep apnea information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sleep_apnea/sleep_apnea.htm . Updated December 28, 2010. Accessed June 3, 2013.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 23, 2013. Accessed June 3, 2013.

What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/SleepApnea/SleepApnea_Summary.html . Updated July 10, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013.



Last reviewed May 2014 by Marcin Chwistek, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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