Is It Snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

December 12, 2017

Snoring is a very common occurrence for adults. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 90 million Americans do snore while they are sleeping. Nearly half of those 90 million people snoring are considered to be just ‘simple snorers’ while the other half suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Identifying the difference between simple snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can help to identify the proper treatment. Understanding the differences between the two can help you identify which one could be keeping you and/or your partner up at night.

Simple Snoring

Simple snoring can come and go, and may not be a constant in your life. It may not be a chronic problem that you face every night, but there are things that could cause it to be a nightly occurrence. Snoring off and on can be caused by a specific trigger. Sinus infections, colds or flu, seasonal allergies, excessive alcohol consumption, or smoking can all trigger the occasional bout of snoring. Chronic sinus issues or regular smoking can lead to regular snoring. Overweight people tend to snore regularly due to the excess soft tissues that can vibrate while they sleep. Excessive soft tissues can also lead to OSA.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The biggest difference between sleep apnea and simple snoring are the frequent sounds of gasping for air. OSA happens when the soft tissues of your throat and mouth to collapse into your airway. This causes a blockage to the flow of oxygen to your bloodstream, which causes you to gasp for air. Your body believes that you are suffocating, so it will try to make you gasp for oxygen. You are unlikely to notice these gasps for air while you are sleeping, so you may want to participate in a sleep study to fully diagnose if you have obstructive sleep apnea.

OSA and Health Risks

Your body suffocating multiple times while you are sleeping impacts the amount of restful sleep that you get, and it also puts your body through a lot of stress. OSA can lead to a higher risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Treatment for your sleep apnea from your dentist can help to lower these risks and help you get more restful nights of sleep.

Do You Snore Every Night?

Your dentist can help treat obstructive sleep apnea. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling E-Care Dentistry, PA in Olathe, KS, today at 913-210-1701. We also proudly serve patients from Overland Park, Lenexa, Leawood, Gardner, and all surrounding communities.