Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Many people snore. In fact, it is said that anywhere from 30-50% of individuals snore, some more significantly and regularly than others. Many of us have also heard that snoring is linked to sleep apnea. So if you snore, do you have sleep apnea?
Not necessarily. Sleep apnea, specifically obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA), happens because there is something blocking the airways or throat that is causing someone to have difficulty breathing. When this happens, one common noticeable symptom is one’s snoring. Snoring doesn’t cause sleep apnea, but sleep apnea can cause snoring. Snoring can be caused by other things, such as alcohol, weight gain, sedatives, and sleeping position, among others. But if none of these are to blame, it may very well be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea, while common, can also be a life-threatening disorder if not addressed. The reason being is because it can cause one to have difficulty breathing while sleeping. It can also cause individuals to never get a full night’s sleep, leaving them extremely tired and a risk to others during the day, either while working or driving. Sleep apnea can also lead to other health problems, which is why it is essential to have it evaluated and diagnosed appropriately.
If your partner or family complains of loud snoring that you are unable to address by changing the above noted risks, then you may find that a sleep study is necessary to determine if you are suffering from sleep apnea, specifically obstructive sleep apnea. Although mildly annoying and disruptive to others, it can be a huge risk to your health if left untreated. After determining your risk and assessing you for sleep apnea, you will have a variety of treatments to consider if you need to tend to this sleeping disorder.Back to Dental Library Page