What’s the Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

Categories: Sleep Apnea

There are millions of people in the U.S. who snore chronically, even though they don’t have sleep apnea. There are millions more who have sleep apnea, but don’t realize that their condition is anything more than just snoring. Because snoring is a significant part of sleep apnea, the two are often confused and mistaken for each other. However, the difference is that, if you have sleep apnea, then learning how to stop it is best not just for your sleeping habits, but also for your long-term health and wellbeing.

What Usually Causes Snoring

Snoring can have a number of different causes, but in the most common cases, it’s the result of increased air pressure due to a constriction in your airway. This constriction often results from oral tissues that have collapsed into your airway because of your sleeping posture and/or because the tissues have become too relaxed. When you have a minor snoring habit, this obstruction can often be cleared simply by sleeping on your side instead of your back or stomach. You can also reduce snoring risks by eating healthier and engaging in regular exercise to help your body’s muscles and tissues relax properly while you sleep.

The Extreme Case of Sleep Apnea

While snoring is caused by partial airway obstruction, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) describes a more serious condition in which your airway becomes completely blocked by oral tissues. Nevertheless, the obstruction is gradual, and as your airway becomes constricted, your snoring will grow louder until it stops completely (before restarting again shortly). The noticeable difference between regular snoring and sleep apnea is the pattern that your snoring exhibits when you have OSA. It indicates the cessation of your breathing that makes sleep apnea significantly more dangerous than routine snoring.

Learn How to Stop Snoring and Treat Sleep Apnea

Snoring and sleep apnea are not the same thing, but they’re closely related and both conditions can have serious detrimental effects on your health and wellbeing. To find out if snoring or sleep apnea treatment can help you, call Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.