It's not difficult to determine that someone has sleep apnea, but still it often goes undiagnosed, simply because most of the symptoms occur during the night when people are sleeping. That means, for the most part, sleep apnea has to be detected by your partner, who is conscious and aware of your symptoms, while you sleep. The most obvious symptom associated with sleep apnea is a temporary stoppage of breathing.
This is usually followed by some kind of stirring action on the part of the affected person, and when the activity has subsided, breathing may resume normally. Snoring is another tell-tale sign of obstructive sleep apnea, since the airway obstruction which causes snoring sometimes also triggers a complete blockage of the airway. This is when a person might wake up gasping for air.
Other possible signs of sleep apnea include grogginess
and sleepiness during the daytime, often accompanied by irritability or inattentiveness, because the person didn't get a good night's sleep that night. Since a person doesn't get the good night's sleep they should, they might wake up with dry mouth or headaches on a fairly consistent basis. If you have any of these symptoms of sleep apnea, you should check with your partner about it, or participate in a sleep observation study to find out one way or the other.