Snoring is the leading symptom of sleep apnea, which makes many people nervous. They think if they snore, they must have a sleep disorder. But does being a snorer automatically mean that you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA?)

What is Snoring?

Snoring is a hoarse sound resulting from relaxed tissues in your throat. As you breathe, these relaxed tissues in the throat muscles vibrate as air flows through a narrowed pathway. The effect varies from low grumbles to mighty rumbles, and everywhere in between.

In many cases, snoring doesn’t indicate a health issue. In fact, snoring affects almost everyone on occasion, but for certain individuals it can be a chronic problem which may indicate you should seek a medical opinion.

snoring partner keeping spouse awake

Sleep Apnea

Snoring is not confirmation of sleep apnea. If you have a low, steady snore, then sleep apnea is not likely the cause. People with sleep apnea have a distinctive kind of snoring that is loud and disordered. Periods in which the person stops breathing and gasps for air are a better indicator of sleep apnea than snoring. Tell-tale signs your snoring is part of a bigger issue include morning headaches & daytime fatigue.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

Often, the person most affected by a snorer is their bed partner! In many cases, a person isn’t aware that they snore without it being brought to their attention by someone else.

If you are a chronic snorer, talk to your doctor. They can determine if an overnight sleep study is appropriate for you. If your snoring is determined to be caused by sleep apnea, you have options. CPAP therapy is the most widely used treatment, but oral appliances are a fast-growing alternative.

Sleep Dynamics offers sleep studies in New Jersey to diagnose sleep apnea and a range of other sleep disorders. If you’re concerned that sleep apnea could be affecting your health, call (848) 217-0240 to make an appointment.