What does sleep apnea look like?

This question was asked in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 07/15/2014.
I am concerned about my wife making faces while sleeping. She will often wince, as if in pain, for long periods of time. She says she has no idea that she grimaces in her sleep. Could these facial issues be a symptom of sleep apnea? Does sleep apnea ever appear without audible snoring and breathing issues?

Doctors Answers (1)

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 7/22/2014

If pauses/apneas are not seen, there will usually be snorts or gasps. Some tall skinny individuals may have upper airway resistance and exhibit none of these behaviors. Unsure what the facial movements may mean. An evaluation for a sleep disorder by a board-certified sleep specialist is highly recommended.