There is much ambiguity about the difference between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. Some people who snore loudly assume they have OSA. Then, there are lots of individuals with OSA who believe they are just loud snorers. Although the two are both sleep-related, they are very different.
Comprehension of Sleep Apnea
The main point you need to know is that there are three types of sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The upper airway is blocked or obstructed. It is the variety most commonly confused with snoring.
Central Sleep Apnea: A pause in breathing stops because the brain fails to send signals to the particular muscles engaged for breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea: This is a compound between the two.
OSA is so regularly confused with snoring because the symptoms are quite similar. In fact, some people with OSA snore, which makes matters more confusing. The suggestion is that sleep apnea may touch over 18 million Americas, but the vast majority goes without a diagnose.
OSA creates a complete or partial blockage of the upper airway, much like snoring. However, with snoring, there is air struggling to get through. It is the flow of air that makes soft tissues to vibrate one against the other. With OSA, the flow of air is obstructed, which makes the brain to send signals to wake the body up. Breathing pauses can vary from seconds to a minute or longer. They can also occur as many as 30 times per hour. So, although you do not remember waking up all these terms, your sleep cycle feels it.
When your breathing is depthless, you stay in non-rapid eye movement sleep, so your body does not fully recharge. When you snore, your sleep cycle gets influenced the same way. Snoring mouthpieces are a good starting point to fight this issue.
Sleep Apnea Main Symptoms
Snoring is a lead symptom of sleep apnea. However, individuals may experience additional sleep apnea symptoms, people who just snore without having OSA affecting them. A few include excessive daytime drowsiness, lack of energy, morning headaches, difficulty focusing, sore throat, dry mouth, depression, fuzziness, and high blood pressure.
Regardless of which sleep condition you have, these are not symptoms you want to neglect. Every night you deprive your body of its deep sleep cycle, you endanger your mental and physical health.
In summary, the two sleep disorders are connected, but having one does not mean you have the other. Only a certified medical doctor or sleep specialist can diagnose sleep apnea.