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Symptoms of OSA
What are the Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptom of OSA is loud snoring, dry mouth, sore throat, or headaches in the morning.


Snorers may not realize that they have difficulty breathing at night unless there is someone listening to them who can tell them that they snore, or sound like they are holding their breath. Having someone to watch and listen to you sleep can be very helpful. If a bed partner witnesses that you stop breathing, it is a warning that you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Loud snoring can affect the bed partner's ability to get a good night sleep as well! The next most common symptom is sleepiness during the day. Each time the OSA patient fails to breathe they must awaken sufficiently to get a breath and their sleep is interrupted. Patients may develop sleepiness so slowly over the years that they "forget" what normal alertness is like. Many patients with severe sleep apnea are unable to reach a sleep state that allows them to dream. Other people can be affected by severe sleepiness, as well:

Patients with severe OSA are 2-7 times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident creating additional OSA victims!

Other symptoms of OSA include dry mouth, sore throat, or headaches in the morning. Some patients suffer from impotence or having to use the restroom several times during the night. Others have restless sleep or night sweats. Depression, irritability, morning confusion, and inability to think clearly have all been linked to OSA.

Most Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea (OSA)

  • Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea;
  • Morning headache;
  • Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep;
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea;
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia);
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat;
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia);
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom (Nocturia)


Read on for Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea