If I Snore, Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
- Posted on: Jan 30 2023
Snoring is a common condition that affects nearly 25% of all Americans. Although less common, affecting around 1 in 15 Americans, sleep apnea, if left untreated, can cause significant and potentially severe health effects.
Since snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, many people who snore are likely to believe they have sleep apnea. Although this might be the case, there are several key differences between snoring and sleep apnea.
Snoring is the movement of loose tissue and structure in your throat caused when air moves over them while you breathe at night. Although it can significantly disrupt you from getting enough or good sleep, very rarely does snoring cause significant health concerns as you are still getting adequate air while you sleep.
Sleep apnea, on the other hand, specifically obstructive sleep apnea, is the temporary blockage of your airway during sleep. This is generally caused by the involuntary relaxing of the muscles in your throat, which can cause your soft palate or tongue to block adequate air from entering your airway.
Since these tissue and structures are the same that move while you breathe at night, sleep apnea almost always comes with snoring before there is a gagging or choking sound as your body tries to clear the airway.
There are things you can do at home to reduce the occurrence or severity of snoring, as well as the potential effects of sleep apnea. Keeping a healthy diet and weight will help keep the muscles in your throat strong. Avoiding alcohol and smoking will also help keep your airway healthy.
Although snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, a polysomnogram or “sleep study” is the most accurate way to formally diagnose sleep apnea as the cause. With the potentially severe health effects of not treating sleep apnea, do not wait to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Call the team at the ENT and Allergy Centers of Texas in the Plano area at 972-984-1050 or visit www.enttx.com to discuss your sleeping issues and to schedule a consultation to see if a sleep study is needed to help diagnose your symptoms.
Posted in: Snoring