Sleep apnea

Overview

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax and block the flow of air into the lungs
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA), which occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, also known as complex sleep apnea, which happens when someone has OSA — diagnosed with a sleep study — that converts to CSA when receiving therapy for OSA

If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your health care provider. Treatment can ease your symptoms and might help prevent heart problems and other complications.

Products & Services

Show more products from Mayo Clinic

Symptoms

The symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making it difficult to determine which type you have. The most common symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

  • Loud snoring.
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person.
  • Gasping for air during sleep.
  • Awakening with a dry mouth.
  • Morning headache.
  • Difficulty staying asleep, known as insomnia.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, known as hypersomnia.
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake.
  • Irritability.

When to see a doctor

Loud snoring can indicate a potentially serious problem, but not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Talk to your health care provider if you have symptoms of sleep apnea. Ask your provider about any sleep problem that leaves you fatigued, sleepy and irritable.

Leave a Reply

Open chat
1
Scan the code
Hello
Can we help you?