People With Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Should Tell a Doctor

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It is hard to tell that someone has sleep apnea simply by reviewing symptoms. A firm diagnosis can be made only after a patient undergoes an overnight sleep study, in which his or her breathing is monitored. If you have symptoms that might indicate apnea, discuss them with your regular doctor, who may send you to an otolaryngologist, a specialist in the systems of the ears, nose and throat.


-- Excessive daytime sleepiness

-- Loud snoring

-- Breathing cessation during sleep, followed by a gasping for breath

-- Headache and dry mouth in the morning

-- Sweating while sleeping

-- Restlessness while sleeping

(You may have sleep apnea even if you don't have all of these symptoms.)


In children, snoring is a key symptom of sleep apnea. Also look for breathing through the mouth, night sweating and restlessness, and daytime tiredness.

Sleep Studies

The following area hospitals conduct sleep studies:

-- Georgetown University Hospital, 202-444-3610

-- Sibley Memorial Hospital, 202-537-4013

-- Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 202-782-0596

-- University of Maryland Medical Center, 410-706-4771; for children, 410-328-3363

-- Johns Hopkins Hospital, 443-287-3313

-- Virginia Hospital Center, 703-236-7171

Studies are also offered at the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, 301-654-1575. For a state-by-state listing of sleep centers, go to

Learn More:


SOURCES: The above Web sites, Mark Dettelbach, Helene A. Emsellem

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