It’s estimated that 1 out of 15 Americans (6.6%) have some form of sleep Apnea. Most people have at least heard of Sleep Apnea but many are left wondering if their snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea or simply “just snoring”. So which one is it?
Sleep Apnea vs Snoring
When faced with a problem such as snoring, most people by default attempt to fix the effect without examining the possibility of an underlying cause. In other words, snoring as we know it, could be caused by sleep apnea or some other unknown factor. With several cheap and easy fixes available online such as chin straps, throat sprays and mouthpieces, it is difficult to resist the temptation of skipping the doctors office and silencing your inner beast with the latest gadget or snake oil.
Knowing if one causes the other can be quite challenging as there is no fool proof way to tell. If the sound of sawing logs keeps your partner up on a regular basis, this can be a tell tail sign that you need to seek help from a medical professional. Making a guess or assuming may put your health in danger as sleep apnea may cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure or a number of other medical issues.
The only way to know for sure is to consult with your doctor who may ask you to perform a sleep study or sleep test at home.
Signs of OSA or CSA
Excessive daytime sleepiness
With the busy lives that we live today, most people spend their waking hours yearning for an evening nap. Working long hours and playing multiple roles in life will quickly drain you of energy and give the feeling of being tired. Not to mention eating and exercise habits are also a contributing factor to daytime tiredness.
Think about the days when you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep and still walk around in a zombie-like trance? If sleepiness continues with 8,10,or even 12 hours of sleep then OSA or CSA may be keeping you up at night. Since this condition does not allow uninterrupted sleep, you will wake up feeling tired and drained of energy no matter how many hours you sleep.
Waking up with a headache
Perhaps you wake up with a headache and don’t know why? While this could be a sign of a number of other problems, it is also a sign of sleep apnea. Pauses in breathing result in a decrease in oxygen flow to the brain, hence the headaches.
Having a big neck
How does having a big neck relate to sleep apnea you ask? Larger necks are typically the result of being overweight. If fatty tissue is visible on the outside, you can bet that excessive fatty tissue exists on the inside. OSA is often the result of fat tissue blocking and collapsing the airway. How big is too big?
- Men with a neck circumference >17″
- Women with a neck circumference >15″
Having a neck size in this range will increase the likelihood of having sleep apnea or the possibility of eventually developing it. After all, being overweight is one of the leading causes of OSA.
Pauses in breathing or gasps for air
Do you pause randomly in between breaths whiles sleeping? Do you gasp for air while sleeping. These are two sure signs that you may have a medical problem such as sleep apnea. Ask you partner, family member or friend to listen closely to your breathing as you sleep. If they notice either of these signs then it may be time for you to get a professionals opinion.
If during the day you become forgetful or have a hard time concentrating, this may also be a symptom. This symptom closely relates to daytime sleepiness as you brain never really gets a chance to rest and reset itself at night. You may spend your waking hours in daze, having a hard time focusing and often forgetting small details or perhaps what task you were performing.
Final thoughts on snoring and sleep apnea
These are only a few signs that your snoring problem may be more than simple snoring. Remember that not all who snore have sleep apnea and not all who have sleep apnea necessarily snore. The only way to tell if your snoring is a result of OSA or CSA is to consult with your doctor who can administer testing in order to determine the cause. Knowing whether or not you simply snore is a very important step before decide which direction to turn for treatment.
Which mouthpiece should I buy?
The anti-snoring mouthpiece is one of the most highly effective stop snoring solutions available. With over 100 different products to choose from, deciding which one to buy can be challenging.
As a snorer and product reviewer, I have tried many of these devices and created a list of recommended devices that will help to make this decision much easier.Share This Post: