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What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?

November 5, 2011
Reinbeck Courier

One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and ongoing snoring. Pauses may occur during snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses. Snoring may not occur every night and not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. You may have a treatable problem if you are snoring more often than normal and it gets louder.

Findings show that snoring is usually loudest when you sleep on your back and less noisy when you turn on your side. You are asleep when the snoring or gasping happens. You likely won't know that you're having problems breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem. Your family members or bed partner will often notice these problems before you do.

Other common signs of sleep apnea are fighting sleepiness during the day, while driving, or even at work. You may find yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you're not active. Morning headaches, memory or learning problems, and the inability to concentrate are other signs of sleep apnea. Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes are also signs.

Sleep apnea has been linked as a contributing cause of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Good quality sleep is what your body needs. Please visit with your healthcare provider to see if they feel you might benefit from a sleep study at Grundy County Memorial Hospital.

Sleep studies are performed in a sleep room in a quiet area of the hospital that has a pillow topped queen bed. Monitors will be placed on your body to monitor your heart and breathing pattern during sleep.

Sleep apnea is treatable and may prevent future health problems in the future. You owe it to yourself and your bed partner to get a good night rest.

Sleep studies are available at Grundy County Memorial Hospital. For more information, please call the GCMH at (319) 824-5081 or toll-free (888) 824-5081. For more information about the services offered at GCMH, call (319) 824-5421 or visit



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