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Sleep apnea is a chronically undiagnosed condition. When Carrie Fisher, that of Star Wars fame, passed away, sleep apnea was determined to be a contributing factor to her death. This deadly condition can take away lives due to how undiagnosed it is. Knowing the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can help you prevent the deadly consequences that come along with the condition.

Snoring
Believe it or not, snoring is a strong indicator that you may be suffering from sleep apnea. While a majority of people snore during their sleep, figuring out the cause of the snoring is crucial to diagnosing sleep apnea.

Constant Sleepiness
During sleep, your body relaxes when it’s in a deep, REM sleep. One of the main symptoms of sleep apnea is that the person stops breathing for a very brief time period. If a person stops breathing at night, their body naturally goes into an emergency response mode. The body pushes itself into a lighter stage of sleep so the muscles can tighten up and help the person breath. If this continues in a repetitive fashion, that means less time spent in deep sleep that restores energy to the body and, as a result, the person will wake up feeling tired and groggy.

Mood Changes
Not having the opportunity to gain a full, restorative night’s sleep can leave a person prone to constant mood changes. There has been a link noticed between sleep apnea and depression disorders.

Treatment
If a person feels that they’ve experienced any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea, it is extremely important to seek treatment. Usually, one can visit with an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) to gain more information on sleep apnea or obtain a diagnosis. Once a person has visited with a doctor, they can come up with a specialized treatment plan. This plan often begins with a sleep study to determine if a person does, in fact, suffer from sleep apnea. The most popular treatments for sleep apnea are utilizing a CPAP mask or BiPAP mask.

If you believe that you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s wise to seek medical advice and see if you do have the condition. Once you’ve been diagnosed, a treatment plan can be put together to combat the condition.