Sleep apnea symptoms are often hard to see yourself, but easy for other people to diagnose. Have you ever slept in the same room as someone who snores and skips breaths at night? Well, those are clear symptoms of sleep apnea. These pauses can last longer than 10 seconds, and it can frighten others to hear someone stop breathing. The sufferer is usually unaware of it.
Snoring is the biggest giveaway when it comes to diagnosing sleep apnea. Someone who snores doesn't necessarily have sleep apnea, but someone who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) will almost certainly snore. OSA means that the airways through which you breathe can become obstructed. If they're partly obstructed, you'll snore.
If the airway becomes totally obstructed, you'll momentarily stop breathing. (An apnea is defined as stopping breathing for 10 seconds or more.) Apneas are not just a sleep apnea symptom; they are the very definition of the sleep disorder.
But the effects of sleep apnea don't just happen at night. Since you're not getting the restful sleep that you need, you'll probably feel daytime fatigue and sleepiness, possibly accompanied by grouchiness or depression. This leaves you more vulnerable to additional health problems. Be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor or dentist.