Symptoms

The Takeaway

  • The major symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, pauses in breathing while asleep, and episodes of waking at night feeling short of breath or gasping for air.

Surprisingly, despite dozens or even hundreds of awakenings per night, most adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have no recollection of these events. In fact, often the only evidence of this serious condition might be daytime fatigue and reports of loud snoring from bed partners. However, most people with OSA usually have one or more of the following symptoms. Do you have any of them?

  • Excessive and inappropriate daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring occurring virtually every night
  • Apneas (pauses in breathing) witnessed by bed partner
  • Episodes of waking at night feeling short of breath or gasping for air
  • Insomnia
  • Problems with memory and/or concentration
  • Impotence
  • Changes in mood, particularly depression
  • Fatigue

Symptoms of Apnea (00:27)
Dr. Lawrence J. Epstein explains the three classic features of obstructive sleep apnea.

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This content was last reviewed on February 10, 2011