Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea

Snoring by itself isn’t necessarily a major medical condition, but it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially dangerous sleep breathing disorder. About half of loud snorers have a form of sleep apnea. Most cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed, that’s why it is important to know the common signs and symptoms:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • General fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Loud snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air while sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Irritability

What makes sleep apnea different from snoring is that people with OSA stop breathing during their sleep because of a blockage in the upper-airway. The blockage can keep oxygen from reaching your organs and increase your risk for heart disorders such as stroke, heart attack and hypertension. When the blood-oxygen levels drop, it triggers the body to wake up and gasp for air.

Many people who suffer from sleep apnea are unaware that they stop breathing while they sleep, though their sleep partner may notice a gasping, choking or snorting sound.

Sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Dr. Eskow can perform a sleep apnea pre-screening and refer you to a local sleep specialist for a sleep study and full diagnosis. Once your condition has been diagnosed, we can create a treatment plan to treat your sleep apnea symptoms.