Watch above: Dr. Samir Gupta outlines five signs that you may have sleep apnea.
TORONTO – Most people who suffer from sleep apnea are completely unaware of it despite the serious health problems it can cause.
People who have sleep apnea will have trouble getting a restful sleep because as their asleep, their airways are collapsing, blocking the flow of oxygen to the lungs and increasing carbon dioxide levels.
Global News medical correspondent Dr. Samir Gupta explains sleep apnea likely won’t wake you up but will pull you out of a deep, restorative sleep.
“It prevents you from getting that restorative sleep that you need,” he said.
Gupta suggests sleep apnea could be connected to a host of other serious health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and heart rhythm problems.
Gupta outlined five risk factors, which if you have, should motivate you to ask your doctor if you need a sleep test.
Top 5 signs to watch out for:
1. Obesity or a short, thick neck
2. Choking or gasping while you sleep
“If people have witnessed you sleeping and have said that you either stop breathing or you choke or gasp in your sleep,” Gupta said.
3. Daytime fatigue
Are you tired during the day and finding it hard to concentrate?
4. Daytime sleepiness
Do you fall asleep while doing things like driving or reading or are you having trouble keeping your eyes open?
5. Loud snoring
Really loud snoring: loud enough to bother your partner or be heard through the door.
Having one of these signs does not mean you have sleep apnea, but Gupta says if you have the last two points, daytime sleepiness and loud snoring, you should ask your doctor about getting the sleep test.