Written by Dr. Anitha Paderla, MBBS | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Jul 28, 2021

Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.


Due to the obstruction of the airways during sleep the patient has snoring and apneic episodes that end as choking and gasping in sleep. Repeated apneic episodes with arousals lead to a disturbed sleep.

These cycles are characterized by repeated wake-up and sleep states, caused due to obstruction and disturbance in breathing. In very acute cases, patients could suffer upper airway obstruction about a hundred times in one hour.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are:

a)Excessive sleepiness- As the person suffering from sleep apnea does not get the required amount of sleep they suffer from 'excessive sleepiness' and this usually is manifested as daytime sleepiness.

This can cause cognitive difficulties leading to motor vehicle crashes, work-place accidents, impaired performance at work or school, social embarrassment, depression and compromised quality of life.

b)Snoring- Partial obstruction to the airway can cause some resistance to airflow, resulting in snoring.

c)Apneic episodes - Episodes of temporary cessation of breathing occurs in the patient, which is initially noticed by the partner.

d)Choking or gasping in sleep - At the end of an 'apneic episode' the patient chokes or gasps in an effort to take a breath.

e)Tiredness upon awakening - Episodes of apnea can cause repeated arousals from sleep that will lead to sleep fragmentation. This causes fatigue upon awakening.


sunny1 Tuesday, June 3, 2008

See this recent publication that indicates that obstructive Sleep Apnea - Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). We hypothesized that OSA is independently related to the risk of CAD or death from any cause. In this observational cohort study, patients referred for OSA underwent polysomnography, and subsequent CAD events (myocardial infarction, coronary angiography or bypass graft surgery) or death were recorded. Patients were divided into exposure (AHI 15) and comparison groups (AHI Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Death, Shah NA et al New Haven, CT

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