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Do I have symptoms of sleep apnea? 

Sleep apnea, in simple terms, is a condition where throughout the night you have pauses in your breathing. Each episode can last anywhere between 10-90 seconds in length, and numerous times throughout the night. The word “apnea” itself means “without breath”. There are two kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA is fairly common, whereas CSA is fairly rare. Many people with sleep apnea don’t even know they have it, unless someone brings it to their attention.

First, you need to explore your sleep habits and see if you have any symptoms. If you experience any of the below symptoms, you may be at risk for sleep apnea.

• Loud snoring followed by a breathless pause—ending with a breathless snort or gasp (people with CSA typically do not snore)

• Restless movements

• High blood pressure

• Morning headaches

• Impotence

• Problems with memory and concentration

• Extreme tiredness, sleepiness or fatigue

Approximately 6 million Americans suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea.

If you have questions about sleep apnea or think you may be at risk for sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, call East Jefferson General Hospital’s HealthFinder at (504) 456-5000 to help you find a physician who is right for you.

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