Are snoring and sleep apnea the same?

Snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when a person has multiple pauses in their breathing pattern during sleep. These interruptions in breathing can lead to sleep disturbances, sleep interruptions and light sleep. Sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing intermittently at night, can have serious health consequences.

Snoring, on the other hand, can be relatively harmless except, of course, for those around you trying to sleep. Although snoring and sleep apnea are often associated, special tests are often needed to determine if a snoring person has sleep apnea or not. And since the health consequences of sleep apnea are so serious, it's worth getting a clear answer. Here's What You Need to Know About the Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Snoring.

Both snoring and sleep apnea can disrupt your and your partner's sleep, but sleep apnea causes more problems. Makes you wake up many times during the night, often panting for breath. You may or may not be aware of these awakenings. This causes daytime fatigue and reduces functioning.

Sleep apnea is associated with heart disease, stroke and obesity, and can lead to accidents because people who suffer from it are sometimes too tired to drive vehicles safely. Sleep apnea is linked to several cardiovascular problems and other medical conditions, although the evidence for some associations is stronger than for others. There is a strong relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiac arrhythmias (disorders of irregular heartbeats). Sleep apnea is also a risk factor for stroke and can affect insulin resistance and lead to diabetes.

Are you numb by the news? Can understanding why and what to do help consider pregnancy and having lupus? Plan Ahead Heart-Healthy Habits of Children and Teens Extend Lives Can We Prevent Depression in Older Adults by Treating Insomnia? Do you want to try veganism? Here's how to get started Q. My partner says I snore at night. Does this mean I have sleep apnea? AT. If you snore at night, you're in good company.

About 90 million Americans have the same problem, says the American Sleep Apnea Association. And luckily, not everyone has sleep apnea. Snoring is usually due to a narrowing of the upper airways. The tissues in the back of the throat sometimes relax during sleep and fall, partially blocking the duct.

Breathing air vibrates the tissue, creating that distinctive noise as it passes. Simple snoring differs from sleep apnea because people with apnea actually experience short periods of time during the night when they stop breathing. These episodes can last anywhere from a couple of seconds to more than a minute. People with sleep apnea often feel tired or may fall asleep during the day, even after sleeping through the night, because these periodic interruptions of breathing interfere with normal sleep patterns.

Sleep apnea has also been linked to increased risks of cardiovascular problems, diabetes and other health problems. If you are snoring, the culprits can be personal and lifestyle factors. Some medicines, alcohol and congestion can make snoring worse. You may also be at increased risk of snoring and sleep apnea if you are overweight or obese, sleep on your back, or smoke.

If you feel tired regularly after a good night's sleep, or if your partner notices that you're not only snoring but also having episodes of interrupted breathing, ask your doctor to evaluate you for sleep apnea. The condition is treated by lifestyle changes or the use of a machine or oral appliances to help you breathe freely during the night. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last revision or update of all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified physician. Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss, from exercises to strengthen the core to tips for treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical breakthroughs and advances from experts at Harvard Medical School. Keep up to date with the latest health news from the Faculty of Medicine of.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the best diets for cognitive fitness. Many people with sleep apnea also snore. But not all snoring has sleep apnea. Usually, snoring does not wake a person up during the night.

Of course, it's likely to wake up the person's bedmate, I know I snore. Does that mean I have sleep apnea?. Snoring is annoying, but obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition that benefits from long-term treatment. The results will be evaluated by a sleep specialist, who will make treatment recommendations based on the findings.

This, in turn, can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, headaches and many other health problems. To splint and keep the upper airway open during sleep, the most effective treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP administered at a level determined by the results of an endpoint study; variations of this treatment include bi-level positive atmospheric pressure (BIPAP), a procedure in which expiratory pressure is lower than prescribed. inspiratory pressure (if high pressure is required) or automatic titration (self-adjusting pressure). In addition, you may snore and not know it, especially if your bed partner is a heavy sleeper or if you sleep alone.

People with obstructive sleep apnea usually experience periods when breathing slows or stops at least five times during each hour of sleep. Your doctor will also want to know how loud you snore, how often, and if you gasp or choke in your sleep (ask your partner or family member). Mild sleep apnea is defined by an apnea-hypopnea index score of 5 to 14, an oxygen saturation level of at least 86%, and minimal disability during the day. When you fall asleep and go from a light sleep to a deep sleep, the muscles of the palate (soft palate), tongue and throat relax.

Ask yourself these questions to find out what you know about snoring, sleep apnea, and how to tell the difference between the two. Understanding the differences between sleep apnea and primary snoring is the first step to effective treatment of both conditions. To get a formal diagnosis of sleep apnea, you will need to have a sleep test (called a “polysomnogram”). With obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the airway not only narrows, but the person stops breathing.

OSA can also trigger the release of stress hormones, change the way your body uses energy, and make you feel tired and sleepy during the day. A rarer type is central sleep apnea (CSA), which is caused by altered signals from the brain to the muscles involved in breathing. . .

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