Obstructive sleep apnoea - Symptoms of sleep apnoea
NHS Choices Medical Reference
Most people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) snore loudly. Their breathing may be noisy and laboured, and it is often interrupted by gasping and snorting with each episode of apnoea.
If you have OSA, you may have no memory of your interrupted breathing during the night. However, when you wake up you are likely to feel as though you have not had a good night's sleep.
Symptoms of OSA include:
- feeling very sleepy during the day
- waking up with a sore or dry throat
- poor memory and concentration
- headaches (particularly in the morning)
- irritability and a short temper
- lack of interest in sex
- in men, impotence (inability to get or maintain an erection)
Some people with OSA may also wake up frequently during the night to urinate.
As someone with OSA can suffer a lack of refreshing sleep, they run an increased risk of being involved in a life-threatening accident, such as a car crash. Their risk of having a work-related accident also increases.
Research has shown that someone who has been deprived of sleep due to OSA has the same impaired judgement and reaction time as someone who is over the drink-drive limit.
If you have OSA, it could affect your ability to drive. It is your legal obligation to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about a medical condition that could have an impact on your driving ability. The Directgov website has advice about how to tell the DVLA about a medical condition.