Is my Snoring due to Sleep Apnea?

Sound sleep is crucial to wake up feeling rejuvenated every day. Quality of sleep deeply impacts our mental and physical health. We should abide by the CDC chart for hours of sleep needed, which recommends 8 hours of sleep per night for adults. It is possible that many people may face sleep disorders due to stress. Some people who suffer from this tend to snore loudly during sleep. Snoring may be a strong warning sign for sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder wherein breathing becomes intermittent during sleep. This pattern may last up to a few seconds each time breathing lapses. One of the side effects of this condition can be snoring. Individuals may wake up tired, irritated, and can also experience headaches.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea may vary from mild to severe; there are three main types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive sleep apnea

The most common form of apnea that occurs when the muscles of the throat relax.

Central sleep apnea

The brain fails at successfully sending and receiving signals which control breathing.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

A person suffers from both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. It is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea vs Normal Breathing During Sleep

If you are facing such issues or encountering some of these symptoms, visit a doctor. Ignoring sleep apnea for long may result in heart issues, and may also pose memory loss issues.

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Facts about Sleep Apnea

It is important to understand certain facts about sleep apnea:

More about OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. In this case, breathing repeatedly stops for ten seconds or more. The lack of air results in a diminished oxygen supply to the blood. Those who experience this briefly awaken during the night. In some cases, this issue also leads to snoring and high blood pressure.

While there are many causes of OSA, obesity is a common denominator. Obesity causes an influx of soft tissue around the throat. While asleep, throat muscles are in a relaxed state and the tissue applies pressure on the airway. This results in snoring and a narrowed airway.

In the case of children, enlarged tonsils and dental issues like an overbite can lead to OSA. Sometimes tumors or birth defects may also cause this problem.

Birth defects like Down syndrome and Pierre-Robin syndrome may result in OSA.

Common Causes of Snoring

Here are some of the common factors which increase the risk of sleep apnea:

  • Obesity or overweight
  • A narrow neck or airway
  • Men have a higher probability of encountering this problem
  • Use of alcohol and tranquilizers that relax muscles
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sleep position
  • Body structure
  • Smoking

Snoring is a common problem for many individuals. It not only impacts the person but also harms their partner resulting in poor quality sleep for both. Around 90 million Americans suffer from snoring and many have obstructive sleep apnea. Many people believe that snoring is normal and neglect to look into OSA as a possible cause.

It is important to mention that OSA may cause loud and regular snoring, but that does not mean that OSA is the reason. If you are encountering this issue, you should visit a doctor and inquire about sleep apnea.

How to differentiate between sleep apnea snoring and regular snoring?

Sleep apnea snoring derives from a momentary halt of oxygen intake that wakes you up. However, regular snoring may seem to disrupt sleep but typically does not wake people up. If you snore with your mouth open to gasp for air, then it might be a sign of OSA snoring.

Snoring might not sound like a problem to many, but ignoring it for long may lead to some serious health issues. Sleep apnea may result in diabetes, heart issues, high blood pressure, etc.

Knowing the symptoms in advance and visiting a doctor on time will help in resolving the problem. Preventative steps such as maintaining healthy body weight and meditation can be helpful. Actions like discovering a better sleep position can lead to better sleep quality. Quality sleep helps ward away snoring and sleep apnea. In case it still persists, it is best to visit a doctor.

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  • respiratory health
  • sleep apnea
  • sleep disorder
  • snoring
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