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What’s the Difference Between Sleep Apnea & Snoring?

Did you know that at least 25% of people snore nightly? So, if your bed partner is keeping you awake, you’re not alone. Millions of people are struggling to sleep soundly like you, thanks to the noisy person in their bed who is rattling on.

What most people don’t realize is that snoring is a symptom of a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep apnea. While snoring is the resistance of airflow through the upper airway due to relaxed tissues, OSA is when the resistance is significant enough to reduce or even nearly stop the airflow, throat muscles relaxing, and soft tissue collapsing.

In other words, sleep apnea is paused breathing during sleep, and snoring is the noise caused by vibrations in the airway during sleep. So, patients with OSA snore, but not all snorers have OSA. Understanding the difference between primary snoring and sleep apnea is key to silencing the sound and finding quality sleep for both you and your sleep partner.

Dr. Gilbert offers snoring and OSA surgical treatments, ranging from lifestyle adjustment recommendations and sleep therapy to oral devices, nasal strips, and occasionally surgery. The first step is a sleep study that can accurately diagnose the problem and then move forward to provide adequate treatment options.

Since snoring is common, we often assume it’s a natural and normal part of aging. It is not. While snoring does increase with age and weight gain, do not accept it as the status quo. It can and should be checked out and treated.

Health Ramifications of Snoring and OSA

You may think snoring is just an annoyance, a noisy bother. But the truth is, it can wreak havoc on your health in a variety of ways. And OSA can even be life-threatening. Here’s what can result if you’re struggling with snoring or OSA:

  • Poor sleep quality
  • Triggered stress hormones
  • A change in your body’s use of energy
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Memory loss
  • Skin aging
  • Impotence
  • Higher risk of high blood pressures, heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Factors that Affect Sleep Apnea

OSA and snoring can be made worse by the following:

  • Anatomy—large tongue and tonsils, head and neck shape
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Bodyweight—obesity
  • Aging

Dr. Gilbert, our expert Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgeon, specializes in the surgical treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. At Inland Institute Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we begin with conservative options in conjunction with your treatment team, but if those fail to bring resolution to your snoring or OSA issues, we provide trusted and proven surgical treatment options.

Schedule a Consultation

We recommend you schedule an appointment to come in and see us if your bed partner notices during the night that you:

  • Snore loudly.
  • Sometimes seem to stop breathing.
  • Gasp or choke.
  • Experience extreme restlessness.
  • Feel more sleepy than normal during the day.

Snoring might not seem like a serious problem, but your sleep partner may think otherwise. And your snoring could be affecting the quality of your sleep. We strongly urge you to make an appointment with us today.

Getting a formal diagnosis and effective treatment will improve your health whether or not your snoring is caused by OSA. Call our Inland Empire office today! Inland Institute - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Office Phone Number 909-982-8888
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