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Is All Snoring Caused By Sleep Apnea

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Degrees Of Severity Of Sleep Apnoea

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The severity of sleep apnoea depends on how often your breathing is interrupted. As a guide:

  • normal sleep fewer than 5 interruptions per hour
  • mild sleep apnoea between 5 and 15 interruptions per hour
  • moderate sleep apnoea between 15 and 30 interruptions per hour
  • severe sleep apnoea more than 30 interruptions per hour.

What Treatments Can Help Stop Snoring

Treatment depends on the nature of the snoring and the types of problems it causes.

For people with infrequent or primary snoring, treatment may not be necessary unless it is disturbing a persons sleep or the sleep of someone they live with. In those cases, treatments tend to be simpler and less invasive. People with sleep apnea usually need more involved treatment.

Types of treatments include lifestyle changes, anti-snoring mouthpieces, mouth exercises, continuous, auto, or bi-level positive airway pressure devices, and surgery. A persons physician is in the best position to describe pros and cons of any treatment in their specific case.

Lifestyle Treatments For Sleep Apnea

For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be enough to treat the issue. Your doctor will let you know if thats the right starting point. But even if you are prescribed a medical treatment, the following changes can help reduce your sleep apnea episodes and improve your sleep.

Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can have an enormous impact. While it is usually not a total cure, it can reduce the number of breathing episodes you experience, reduce your blood pressure, and decrease daytime sleepiness. Even a small amount of weight loss can open up your throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.

Exercise. Even when exercise does not lead to weight loss, it can decrease your sleep apnea breathing episodes and improve your alertness and energy during the day. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and yoga are all good choices for strengthening the muscles in your airways and improving breathing.

Sleep on your side. Lying on your back is the worst position for sleep apnea, as it causes the jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues to drop back toward the throat, narrowing your airway. Sleeping on your stomach isnt much better, since lying face down or twisting your head to the side both obstruct breathing. Lying on your side, on the other hand, helps keep your airway open. If you find side sleeping uncomfortable or you tend to roll on to your back after youre asleep, countered side pillows or body pillows may help.

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Snoring Vs Sleep Apnea Is There A Difference

Nobody likes to share a bed with a snorer. Its funny at times, but it can rob you of sleep and put a strain on your relationship with your partner. And it can be dangerous.

Snoring is a major symptom of a serious condition called sleep apnea, characterized by interrupted breathing throughout the night. Its a disorder that carries serious long-term health consequences.

Snoring is a marker of the airway being narrow, so it can be a sign of something more sinister, like clinical sleep apnea.

Snoring is a marker of the airway being narrow, so it can be a sign of something more sinister, like clinical sleep apnea, says Adnan Pervez, MD, medical director of the UNC Rex Sleep Disorders Center.

Ask yourself these questions to find out what you know about snoring, sleep apnea and how to tell the difference between the two.

Are There Other Causes Of The Sound Of Snoring

Seriously, Can You Die From Sleep Apnea?

Absolutely. Other structures that vibrate include the sides of the throat and even the epiglottis . The lateral walls and epiglottis likely contribute to snoring sound more often in people with obstructive sleep apnea, whereas the soft palate and uvula play the primary role in snoring in patients with and without obstructive sleep apnea. To find out if you are at risk, take a free one minute online assessment assessment here.

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Talk To Your Doctor About Asthma And Sleep Apnea

Response from Theresa Cannizzarro, Respiratory Therapist:

There is a ton of evidence that sleep apnea can aggravate asthma symptoms. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway closes during sleep which causes the reduction of airflow and oxygen to the lungs. You may snore, cough, or wake up gasping for air numerous times per night.

You may not realize you are waking up due to sleep apnea. This may lead to increased inflammation in the body, including the lungs. Narrowing of the small airways can lead to more irritation and constriction of the smooth muscle in the lungs, which makes asthma symptoms worse. If you suspect you have sleep apnea definitely talk with your doctor about it so they can order a sleep study to test to see if you, in fact, have sleep apnea.

First What All Types Of Sleep Apnea Have In Common

Because these awakenings are typically very brief, the person with sleep apnea may not even be aware that they are experiencing interrupted sleep. But the episodes can wreak havoc on the sleep cycle and prevent the person with sleep apnea from reaching the deep, restful phases of sleep. And thats why people who have sleep apnea can experience significant exhaustion and drowsiness the next day, despite getting what they thought was a full night of sleep.

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If Snoring Affects Your Life Seek A Solution

It is vital to understand that even if you are not diagnosed with sleep apnea, snoring could still be adversely affecting your partner, the restfulness of your sleep, and your overall health. Talking with your doctor about your chronic snoring, a formal diagnosis, and effective treatments may lead to improvements your health, whether or not your snoring is caused by sleep apnea.

The First Step Is To Get Tested For Sleep Apnea

Snoring and Sleep Apnea: What is It and How Do I Stop?

If you have OSA symptoms and feel that your sleep is not restful, its important to talk to your doctor about it.

Apnée Santé offers simple, fast and effective home testing. You can also contact us for a free evaluation to see if sleep testing is right for you.

Heres a checklist to review with your doctor for signs of sleep apnea.

  • Loud snoring
  • Occasionally waking up during the night feeling that youre choking or gasping
  • Restless sleep
  • Having a sore or dry throat in the morning
  • Having a headache in the morning
  • Sleepiness, low energy or fatigue during the day
  • Feeling sleepy behind the wheel
  • Weight gain
  • Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex

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Common Causes Of Chronic Snoring

Chronic snoring, characterized by three or more nights of snoring per week, is the result of anatomy or a medical condition that consistently blocks the airway during sleep. Chronic snoring could indicate a deviated septum, irregular bone or palate shape, polyps in the nasal passage, an elongated or swollen uvula or soft palate, or an enlarged tongue or tonsils.

It could also indicate hypothyroidism, being overweight or obese, having a large neck, chronic nasal congestion, the later stages of pregnancy, or the onset of menopause. And any of these conditions can put you at greater risk for sleep apnea.

Lifestyle Choices That Affect Snoring

There are many lifestyle choices that can trigger or increase the likelihood of snoring. Alcohol consumption before bed is a common cause of snoring, as it relaxes the muscles around your airways, causing louder and more audible vibrations. This is also true for other sedatives, including the use of antihistamines or sleeping pills.

Your sleeping position can also greatly impact your snoring. Many people who snore sleep on their back. Sleeping on your back often decreases airflow, and when your tongue relaxes, it can block your airway. Changing your sleeping position to a lateral position, such as on your side, can reduce the sound and frequency of snoring.

Smoking can also cause snoring, as it inflames and irritates the tissues in your airways. Quitting smoking can ease the irritation and diminish the chances of snoring. Lastly, sleep deprivation or not getting enough sleep is another common snoring cause.

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Losing Weight Will Help

Fact. For some people, extra weight means extra tissue, which can lead to snoring. And thereâs evidence that overweight people who slim down snore less. But itâs worth noting that people who arenât overweight snore, too. So ask your doctor if weight loss is something you should try to stop snoring.


Sleep Apnea Is Unlikely To Get Better Even With Treatment


FALSE. Sleep apnea treatment combined with weight loss is often effective, Dr. Pervez says.

They had this overwhelming sense of tiredness and fatigue and a mental fog, and when that lifts, it can be a night-and-day difference, he says.

We can help you determine if its just snoring or sleep apnea. Find a doctor near you or learn more about our sleep disorder services in Orange County and Wake County.

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What Are Common Causes Of Snoring

Snoring happens when air cannot flow freely through the airway as you breathe in and out during sleep. When the airway is narrowed or partially blocked, breathing causes the tissues of the upper airway to vibrate, resulting in the sound you hear when someone snores. There are many possible reasons that a person may have a chronically narrowed or blocked airway during sleep that causes snoring.

Common Causes Of Occasional Snoring

Most everyone snores sometimes. And the reasons why we snore depend on sleep position, health, habits, daytime activities, weight, age, and other factors.

For example, snoring is loudest and most frequent for back sleepers because gravity causes the throat airway to narrow. Nasal congestion, which limits airflow through the nose and forces the breath through the mouth, could be a result of illness, allergies, pollutants, weather changes, or hormonal fluctuations.

Sleep deprivation, drinking too much before bed, or taking muscle relaxants or depressants relaxes throat muscles and increases the likelihood of snoring.

Additionally, people who are older experience decreased muscle tone and increased risk for weight gain around the throat, making them more likely to snore as they age. And while men are more likely to snore than women, snoring is more common for women during pregnancy or menopause.

Occasional snoring, caused by any number of factors listed above, is common. In fact, about 45% of people snore sometimes. Less common is the incidence of chronic snoring.

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What About The Uvula As A Cause Of Snoring

The uvula is the rounded structure that looks like a punching bag as it hangs down in the back of the throat, off the end of the soft palate. Nobody knows why we have one, but it seems like the uvula may serve two functions, based on what we see in individuals who have had their uvula removed. The uvula may help to spread mucus and saliva over the back of the throat and keep everything moist, and it also may improve the aerodynamics of the breathing passages to help the smooth flow of air through the nose and throat. As for snoring, it seems that an excessively long or thickened uvula can cause or at least contribute, so some patients can benefit from shortening of the uvula.

What Is A Cpap Device And How Does It Work

Stop Snoring Sleep Apnea Naturally

A CPAP device is a machine that uses a hose and airtight nosepiece or mask to deliver a steady stream of air as you sleep. The air pressure helps keep your airway open, preventing pauses in breathing.

CPAP technology is constantly being updated and improved, and the new CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more comfortable than they used to be. So even if youve given up on them in the past, you owe it to yourself to give them a second look.

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Testing For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Patients who present with loud snoring and many of the above symptoms require a thorough history and physical examination. The physical exam of the upper airway is crucial. It is best performed by an Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon or ENT.

Every part of the upper airway should be investigated, including everything from the air entering the mouth and nose down to the persons larynx or voice box. It means more than just telling the patient to open their mouth and say ah.

The examination should include an assessment of the nasal airway, including the wall separating the two sides called the septum and the nasal lining called the turbinates. Any nasal polyps or sinus obstruction should be addressed.

The critical area where the air from the mouth and nose meets in the back of the throat called the pharynx should be examined. There is a ring of tissue in this area, which includes the back of the tongue, tonsils, and palate. Most surgical treatments attempt to alleviate the floppiness of tissue in this area. In some cases, a flexible fiberoptic endoscope is used for visualization.

The sleep study will provide many different physiological readings. The most important ones include the frequency and timing of your stopping breathing during sleep. Most people with suspected sleep apnea will stop breathing for less than 10 seconds. This is called a hypopnea.

Signs You Might Have Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes the airways tocollapse or become blocked while youre asleep. It can cause you to stopbreathing for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, numerous times throughout thenight.

    Untreated apnea can increase the risk of a number of diseases, includinghigh blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some headachesyndromes. Yet many people with sleep apnea dont know they have it.

    Could you be one of them? Watch out for these warning signs.

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    Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

    For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure or automatic positive airway pressure device. These splint the person’s airway open during sleep by means of pressurized air. The person typically wears a plastic facial mask, which is connected by a flexible tube to a small bedside CPAP machine.

    Although CPAP therapy is effective in reducing apneas and less expensive than other treatments, some people find it uncomfortable. Some complain of feeling trapped, having chest discomfort, and skin or nose irritation. Other side effects may include dry mouth, dry nose, nosebleeds, sore lips and gums.

    Whether or not it decreases the risk of death or heart disease is controversial with some reviews finding benefit and others not. This variation across studies might be driven by low rates of complianceanalyses of those who use CPAP for at least four hours a night suggests a decrease in cardiovascular events.

    What Causes Sleep Apnea

    Sleep Apnea: Causes and Treatments

    Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses during sleep. Central sleep apnea is usually observed in patients with central nervous system dysfunction, such as following a stroke or in patients with neuromuscular diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . It is also common in patients with heart failure and other forms of heart, kidney or lung disease.

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    Build A Solid Tongue And Mouth

    The snoring sound comes from soft tissue in the throat shaking as air flow passes with, partially obstructing the airway.

    Numerous research studies have actually recommended a partnership between tongue and also mouth strength as well as snoring prevention. Is All Snoring Sleep Apnea

    Researchers found that those who did the workouts daily for three months saw a reduction of 36 percent in snoring frequency as well as a 59 percent reduction in snoring intensity compared to the control team.

    These relocations compose a short exercise routine that you can do 3 times a day as you comb your teeth or drive your cars and truck, according to researchers.

    Four workouts made to help reduce snoring :

    • Slide your tongue in reverse versus the roof of your mouth
    • Press the roofing system of the mouth with your tongue and draw it upward
    • Maintain the peak of the tongue touching the lower front teeth while pressing the rear of the tongue against the ground of the mouth
    • See to it the back of your tongue touches the floor of your mouth, while maintaining its tip touching your lower front teeth
    • As you make the vowel sound A, boost your soft taste buds and also your uvula

    Youre A Noisy Sleeper

    Snoring, snorting or gasping: Noisy sleep is a warning sign that your upperairway might be obstructed. Not all snorers have apnea, but the two oftengo hand-in-hand. As snoring gets louder, chances of havingsleep apnea are greater and greater.If you have apnea, your bed partner might notice that the snores arepunctuated by pauses in breathing. Those are apnea episodes, and they canrecur hundreds of times a night.

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    When Is Snoring A Problem

    Not all snoring episodes mean you have a serious problem like sleep apnea. Conversely, if you dont snore, that doesnt mean you dont have sleep apnea.

    In the sleep clinic, its not always easy to know who might be a snorer and who might have sleep apnea, notes Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer. Snoring is on the mild end of the spectrum of sleep-disordered breathing.

    However, what your snoring sounds like could be a clue if theres something more serious going on. People who talk about loud, disruptive snoring are more likely to have sleep apnea, says Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer. If that sounds like you, you should talk with your healthcare provider about a sleep study.

    Snoring is often only one of the symptoms you might exhibit, though. Most people we see who snore end up having other symptoms of sleep apnea, says Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer. These include:

    • Gasping yourself awake at night.
    • Not feeling refreshed during the day.
    • Your bed partner reporting that youre snoring, gasping or pausing breathing in your sleep.

    In these cases, you would certainly also qualify for having a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.

    If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea, especially if its in the moderate to severe range, can be associated with serious health problems.

    Other side effects include excessive daytime sleepiness and impaired concentration, which can lead to drowsy driving and even poor memory and concentration.

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