Is Snoring a Sign of Sleep Apnea?

Aerial view of a man snoring as he sleeps in his bed

Snoring can range from a gentle hum to a thunderous rumble. While often harmless, snoring can sometimes be associated with a more serious issue, like a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Below, we explore the relationship between snoring and sleep apnea.

Why Do People Snore?

Snoring happens when the flow of air through the nose, mouth, and/or throat is restricted during sleep. For example, excessive relaxation of your tongue and the muscles in the top of your mouth and in your throat can make these tissues collapse into your airway. Airflow obstruction causes surrounding tissues to vibrate, resulting in a snoring sound.

The likelihood of snoring can be increased by various factors, like alcohol consumption, allergies, obesity, sleeping position, mouth and throat anatomy, chronic nasal congestion, deviated nasal septum, chronic sleep deprivation, and sleeping on your back.

Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition in which breathing is repeatedly reduced and interrupted during sleep. Blockages of the airway lead to regular pauses in breathing, which decreases oxygen to your brain and disturbs your sleep.

Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

  • Loud and consistent snoring followed by periods of silence when breathing stops or is extremely slow
  • Daytime fatigue and drowsiness
  • Restless sleep
  • Frequently waking up snorting or gasping
  • Morning headaches and sore throat
  • Memory fog and difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Chest pain at night
  • High blood pressure, or hypertension

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment in Spanaway, WA

Snoring can sometimes be addressed with lifestyle changes and the help of certain medical devices. If you or someone else notices that you exhibit any of the aforementioned signs of sleep apnea in addition to snoring, it’s crucial to consult a professional! Sleep apnea can negatively impact your overall health and quality of life. Fortunately, proper treatment can improve your sleep quality and overall well-being.

At Elevate Smile Design, we can help treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea using oral appliance therapy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with our caring team!

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