Sleep Apnea Vs. Snoring: How Do You Tell One From Another?

Sleep apnea or sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder. Victims subjected to it experience shortness of breath and pauses during sleep.  Breathe pausing last for minutes and is followed by subsequent loud snores when breathing resumes. Those subjected to it are therefore vulnerable to day sleepiness as normal night sleep is disrupted. In children, sleep apnea can cause hyperactivity.

What's the Mechanism Behind Sleep Disorder?

Sleep Disorder

As breathing is momentarily paused. Carbon II builds up in the bloodstream. Chemoreceptors are therefore signaled, and they trigger the brain to awaken the person.

What are the Causes of Sleep Apnea?

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Causes can either be obstructive sleep apnea, which is a complex condition influenced by the shape of your upper airway, neuromuscular factors, and bodyweight, or central sleep apnea. Given that OSA  is left untreated, it may result in high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

OSA, as a cause, is a condition where breathing is obstructed by interruption of airflow. Central sleep apnea makes regular breathing while sleeping to stop.  According to statistics, OSA's most common one is its prevalence in people with allergies, small respiratory tracts, small tonsils, and overweight.

sleep apnea types


Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is hard to diagnose as the symptoms are prevalent. Besides sleepiness and fatigue, Snoring is a significant sign; if you doubt your condition, you are advised to contact an overnight sleep study. The study involves sleeping in a lab while connected to monitors that detect any changes during your sleep and breathing. It's an expensive approach, but it's worth saving your life. Should you not be treated, your potential risk to death will be quadrupled.


Overnight sleep studies can diagnose it.


Treatment can be sufficient through breathing devices, surgery, and lifestyle changes. When it comes to lifestyle, changes may include; sleeping on one side, avoiding alcohol, and losing weight. With breathing devices, you can be sided by the use of a CPAP machine.

Sleep apnea Treatment option

Should treatment be not procured, victims will be subject to the risk of death, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even slow nervous responses, which may result in accidents.

OSA   seizes up to 6 % of adults and 1 % of children and doubly affects males than females. Its onset is widespread amongst those aged  55-60. CSA  affects only 1% of the world's population.

According to doctor Lyle Palmer's research results, physical activities can also be a preventive measure against developing sleep apnea. Additionally, walking at a moderate pace for just 20 minutes can lower the risks of suffering victims.

physical activitie

  • Treatment for children

In children, rapid palatal expansion can be done. This treatment expands the volume of the nasal airway, hence allowing in more oxygen.

rapid palatal expansion

In retrospect, apnea is a condition that can be treated. It would help if you were smart by keenly examining its symptoms. If in doubt, you can seek help from doctors and therapists. Remember, apnea killed Carrie fisher, don’t be its next victim; go for treatment and preventive measures.



What is snoring?

You might be wondering if there is a difference between Snoring and apnea. Concisely, Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures. The resultant sound is a product of air movement obstruction during breathing when one is asleep.

Snoring and apnea

The snoring sound varies. It may be soft or unpleasantly loud. Loud snores can also be a sign of obstructive apnea.  You are advised to seek medical evaluation if you are prone to loud snores. So, the difference is that apnea is a result of untreated, frequent deep Snoring.

What are the Causes of Snoring?

Causes of Snoring

Snoring is considered to be a sum of relaxation of the Uvula and soft palate. The relaxation causes a partial block of the respiratory tracts resulting in irregular airflow and vibrations.

Snoring can therefore be attributed to

  1. Closure of the nasal air tracts due to deviated septum or nasal polyps
  2. Genetic predisposal factors resulting from heritable lifestyles such as smoking and alcoholism
  3. Tensioned muscles causing the jaw to be mispositioned
  4. Gathered fats around the throat due to obesity

What are the impacts of Snoring?

impacts of Snoring

Snorers are deprived of sleep, which leads to daytime drowsiness, irritability, and lack of focus. Therapeutical statistics have it that it triggers significant psychological and social damage. Additionally, the correlation between snoring potential heart attack is a 35% chance, and that of stroke is about 68% chance. Snoring, if left untreated, poses a threat of apnea disorder.

Related, Can You Really Catch Up On Sleep?

Common snoring preventions at home

snoring preventions at home

  1. Try to sleep on the sides.
  2. Elevate the head of your bed a few inches
  3. You can widen your nostrils by use of elastic strips that stick at the bridge of your nose.

nostrils by use of elastic strips

Snoring treatments

Before being treated, imaging tests such as x-ray, MRI scans, or CT scans should detect any bizarre respiratory organs. Treatments may include :

  • Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes

They include stopping alcoholism, reducing body weight, and changes in sleeping styles.

  • Oral appliances

small plastic device

These involve using a small plastic device in your mouth. Its purpose is to keep your airway open by moving the jaw or tongue.

  • Surgery

Sleep apnea SurgeryWhen it comes to surgery, the soft palate may be stiffened, tissues at the throat can be shrunk to allow more airway and even removed.

  • CPAP

Sleeping in the left side positionThis is a positive, airway pressure machine. It's used in apnea treatment, but it can also aid in reducing and even preventing snoring. CPAP blows air into your respiratory tract directly while you are sleep. As long as the inhaled oxygen is sufficient, the snoring disorder will be eradicated.

  • Orthopedic pillows

Orthopedic pillowsThis should be considered the last approach. However, they reduce snoring by supporting the head to ensure the jaw is open and is slightly forward. This reduces stress on the airways, which eventually reduces vibrations that cause snoring.


To sum up, snoring once in a while is usually not a problem. However, if you are a subject to it, you disrupt your normal sleep. It would be best if you also were cautious about frequent deep and loud Snoring as it can be a symptom of a health problem such as apnea. For deep snorers, seek medical evaluation as a safety measure over your health.

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