How Does OSA Cause Snoring?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by an obstruction that blocks the airway, making breathing difficult or impossible. The blockage may be caused by an enlarged tongue or some other obstruction, but ultimately, it interferes with the breathing and causes snoring.
However, it’s important to note that not all snoring is an indication of sleep apnea. Many people snore for a variety of reasons, but it doesn’t always indicate a sleep disorder. Only through a diagnosis in a sleep clinic or at home can you find out for sure if your snoring is caused by sleep apnea.
How to Tell if Your Snoring is Caused By Sleep Apnea
Since snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, it can be easy to confuse any instance of snoring with the sleep disorder. But snoring can also be a normal function that doesn’t have any unhealthy implications. Here are some traits that can help you determine the difference:
Factors Associated with Normal Snoring
- Congestion in the nose
- Mild to medium in terms of noise and severity
- Unusual sleep position
- Use of alcohol or sedative medications
Snoring Associated with Sleep Apnea
- Loud, heavy snoring as if gasping for air
- Waking up due to loud snoring and lack of air
- Recurring apneas, or times when breathing stops
- Greatly impacts ability to sleep
Make Sure Your Snoring isn’t a Sign of Something More
While snoring can be normal, it can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. If your snoring has persisted over many days, it may be time to ensure that it’s not a sleeping disorder that could be impacting your health. Dr. Michael Solly is experienced in treating patients with sleep apnea, and will determine whether your snoring is harmless or if treatment is necessary. Contact us today to make an appointment that may be the key to restoring your ability to sleep.