Though they have some similarities, there are some significant differences between sleep apnea and snoring. Here, our Surrey dentists explain how you can tell the difference.
Quite often, people who have sleep apnea are simply not aware of it, and think they’re just snoring. Indeed, there are similarities between the two: for instance, they can both be related to other health problems, and can disrupt sleep. However, there are some important differences between the two.
What is snoring?
Snoring is essentially a vibrations in the respiratory structures, and usually happens as a result of obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. Snoring is most often caused either by the uvula, an elongated soft palate, a large tongue, or nasal obstructions.
Snoring happens to be a symptom of sleep apnea, but not everyone who has sleep apnea snores.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormal breathing pauses during sleep. These pauses are called "apneas", and can happen as a result of lack of respiratory effort, a physical blockage to airflow, or combination of the two. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of this disorder.
People who suffer from sleep apnea are usually only find out they have it when their sleep partner lets them know.
How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea sufferers often feel tired and worn out during the day. This can have a negative impact on work performance, general vigilance, and lack of motivated in day to day life.
Even if you have some of these symptoms, the only way to tell for sure if you have sleep apnea is to get assessed by a professional. Only a medical professional can positively diagnose you, and get you the help you need to achieve a better night’s sleep.