breathing characteristics of sleep apnea while awake? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-29-2009, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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aside from things like mood swings, sleepiness, memory problems, fatigue, trouble concentrating, etc... are there any physical symptoms (not emotional or behavioral) of sleep apnea while awake and alert or semi alert? Specifically breathing abnormalities, problems, or characteristics that are exclusive to people with sleep apnea...

looking only for things that can also be present while the person is awake

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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#2 of 5 Old 03-29-2009, 03:51 PM
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I don't think there are any, actually. This is because most of the problems associated with the breathing are because of the position (lying down) and the relaxation of the muscles in the head, throat, etc. while you're asleep. (does that make sense? I'm not totally awake yet!).

Maybe the only physical symptoms would be those that are associated with chronic sleep deprivation such as headaches, stomachaches, maybe weight gain...things like that.
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#3 of 5 Old 03-30-2009, 10:18 AM
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I am trying to remember back to when my DS had sleep apnea problems (he had his adenoids and tonsils removed at age 2 1/2 to try to correct his severe failure to thrive (turned out that wasn't the cause afterall, but it reversed the sleep apnea at least)). His daytime symptoms included breathing through his mouth all the time (his adenoids were too large to breath through his nose even while awake and upright), a very nasally sounding voice (which we only noticed AFTER he had the surgery and suddenly he had this sweet sounding voice we'd never heard before and now when I watch our home videos of him I can't believe what his voice sounded like). Along with big adenoids, many people also have big tonsils. DS's were gynormous! When you looked at the back of his throat there was barely any space back there for food to get passed. As a result he choked on his food a lot and often ended up vomitting from it. In the weeks before his surgery he could really only swallow baby-like foods (yogurt, applesauce, bananas...) everything else caused him to choke and then vomit. This stopped after the surgery.
And I know you wanted only symptoms while awake, but I just wanted to mention that DS also slept terribly. He would wake up crying and calling for me 10 times a night. He was also a very light sleeper because he was not able to get into the deep stages of sleep (this is why people are tired during the day). Following his surgery he not only started to finally sleep through the night every night, but he also became quite a heavy sleeper and I no longer have to tip toe around which is great!
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#4 of 5 Old 03-30-2009, 02:27 PM
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I don't know if this is a symptom for children but when my dad was diagnosed with sleep apnea one of his major symptoms was a racing heart beat. His heart was working overtime during the day trying to supply his body and brain with oxygen that had been deprived at night because his sleep apnea was so bad. His doc told him if he wasn't diagnosed when he was and didn't use his CPAP machine he would have killed over from a heart attack because of all of the stress on it the apnea was causing.
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#5 of 5 Old 03-31-2009, 08:26 AM
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I just wanted to add that I think daytime sypmtoms depend on the cause. My same DS has sleep apnea again due to a brain stem tumour involving the respiratory centre. He had no noticeable daytime or nighttime symptoms. The apnea was picked up on a sleep study and I was shocked because I'd never noticed it and believe me I was looking for it.
My DH also has sleep apnea and has no daytime symptoms just really annoying breathing patterns at night.
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