A recent article brought about some very important and simple symptoms that patients can use to evaluate their susceptibility to sleep apnea. In an article by Dr. Orly Avitzur M.D., she describes the need for medical evaluation of loud snoring. She stated up to 1 in 10 women and 1 in 4 men might have undiagnosed sleep apnea and the first symptom to look at is loud snoring . She further states that less than 15% know they have sleep apnea and most physicians don’t routinely inquire about it during office visits.
Other symptoms that warrant further professional evaluation include, but are not limited to:
- High blood pressure
- Frequent morning headaches
- Day time drowsiness
- Frequent wake-ups
- Frequent morning sore throats
- Wake-ups with choking or gasping for breath
- Wake-ups in a sweat
- Loud snoring
Sleep apnea increases a persons chance of high blood pressure , stroke and type 2 diabetes, but the most terrifying statistic Dr. Avitzur stated is there is an increased risk of death that is associated with having sleep apnea.
Anesthesia providers especially need to be aware of any of the symptoms listed above prior to administration of any anesthetic, so please inform them before any surgery. Additional protocols may be implemented in the pre and post-op areas and drug regimes may be modified if the symptoms are present in a patient. Avoid anesthesia complications with sleep apnea by speaking with your physician.
As sleep apnea affects such a high number of people, we would appreciate any personal experiences with sleep apnea you could share on this blog.