What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea causes frequent drops in your oxygen level, and reduced sleep quality triggers the release of stress hormones. This raises your heart rate and increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).

Common symptoms of sleep apnea

You may experience sleep apnea symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times, any of these sleep symptoms can be severe:

  • Dryness in your throat when you wake up
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Snoring that can be loud and persistent
  • Urination at night

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, sleep apnea can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Profuse sweating
  • Weakness (loss of strength) on one side of the body

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the name of a common disease characterized by interruption of breathing during sleep. This interruption of breathing causes an abnormal blood oxygen level, resulting in fatigue, as well as cardiovascular, cognitive and emotional disorders.... Read more about sleep apneaintroduction


What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the result of obstruction or irregular brain signaling. The disease is characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.... Read more about sleep apneacauses


How is sleep apnea treated?

Treatment for sleep apnea begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine if you have sleep apnea, your health care provider will ask you to undergo diagnostic testing.... Read more about sleep apneatreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Lungs, Breathing and Respiration

Popular Lungs, Breathing and Respiration Slide Shows

Personal Story Network

A place where patients, healthcare providers, caregivers, and innovators share their personal stories about healing, and hope within the healthcare system and beyond.