Not All Snoring Indicates Sleep Apnea
It’s a common misconception that snoring is always a sign of sleep apnea. Although some people who snore consistently do have sleep apnea, there can be other reasons for snoring that have nothing to do with the disorder. There’s even a difference between general snoring and sleep apnea snoring. Having a thorough understanding of the two types will help you know whether you have to visit our team in Gig Harbor for treatment.
Sleep Apnea Snoring – Characterized by a Struggle for Breath
The biggest difference between sleep apnea snoring over general snoring is that it’s heavier and more chaotic. This is because the snoring caused by sleep apnea is a sign that the patient is truly struggling for each breath, most likely due to a closed airway. Some of the most common factors of sleep apnea snoring include the following:
- A neck that is larger than average
- Excessive use of tobacco or alcohol
Generalized Snoring – A Mildly Problematic, Very Common Occurrence
Far more Americans snore than have sleep apnea, meaning that most cases of snoring are harmless to your health. Granted, the noise can still make sleeping difficult for your partner, but generalized snoring is not nearly as big a threat to your health as sleep apnea snoring. As many as 90 million Americans snore occasionally with no signs of developing sleep apnea. Factors which increase the chances of generalized snoring include:
- Certain Medications
- Sleep Deprivation
- Alcohol Consumption
- Sleeping Position
Mild Snoring Can Become More Serious
It’s important to note that even if snoring is harmless at first, it can quickly evolve into a serious problem or even a sleeping disorder if it happens frequently. It’s vital to understand whether your snoring is increasing in severity, because if it becomes heavier, it may be necessary to take a sleep test to see if you have developed sleep apnea. To prevent this, it’s important to minimize the activity that is increasing your snoring, whether it’s depriving yourself of sleep, drinking alcohol, or another factor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do to help mild to occasional snoring?
- Sleep on your side, not your back
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages at least four hours before bedtime
- Avoid consuming heavy meals and snacks at least three hours before bedtime
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle
- Weight loss (as few as 5 to 10 pounds can make a difference)
- Establish a regular sleep routine
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Iregui, call our office located in Gig Harbor at (253)-204-2643.
What causes snoring?
- Blocked nasal airways
- Poor muscle tone in the throat or tongue
- Bulky throat tissue
- Alcohol and drug use
- Sleep position
- Sleep deprivation