Girl covering ears with pillow to avoid snoring noise.

Does Loud Snoring Mean Sleep Apnea?

Jan 04, 2022

Do you wake up feeling exhausted even after a good night’s rest? Or do you have a sore throat each day after you wake up? If this is your typical day, it’s about time you get sleep apnea treatment in Ajax, ON.

However, you might be snoring at night, and maybe you are wondering whether this means that you have sleep apnea. So many people snore at night, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. But always remember that snoring is still among the sleep apnea symptoms.

The key challenge is differentiating between primary snoring and sleep apnea. Therefore, let’s delve a bit deeper to understand what snoring is and how it’s connected to sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea 101

Sleep apnea is a subtle yet severe sleep disorder that happens when the muscles and soft tissues in your mouth over-relax, causing your tongue to fall back and partially block your upper airway.

When the tongue blocks the upper airway, loud snoring can be the result. Then, there will be some periods of silence when you have stopped breathing. The breathing pauses may last for about 20 seconds. These breathing pauses can be as many as 100 a single night.

At some point, your brain will signal the body to wake up because of the breathing pauses. So, you might wake up with a snort, gasping sound, or you might choke. You might sleep lightly because of the constant disruptions.

The problem with this sleep disorder is not that you will be sleep deprived the next day, but that your body will receive less oxygen, which can cause other severe health issues such as diabetes.

Fast Facts About Snoring

As mentioned earlier, snoring is not necessarily an indicator that you have sleep apnea. However, you will snore when you have sleep apnea.

Everyone snores now and then, but to some people, this is a chronic issue. It occurs when your airways are partially blocked because of the over-relaxation of the soft tissues at the throat. So, when air is passing through the passageway, it rattles the relaxed tissue making the distinct sound that we call snoring.

The vibration might be softer or louder depending on your anatomy and lifestyle factors such as body weight and alcohol intake.

How Will You Know When Snoring Is a Sleep Apnea Symptom?

Simple snoring is not necessarily linked to sleep apnea. However, if your snoring is loud and frequent, then there is a high chance that you are suffering from sleep apnea. If any of the following symptoms accompany your snoring, then you may need to see our dentist for further evaluation:

  • Restless sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Witnessed breathing pauses while you are sleeping
  • Chocking and gasping at night
  • Sore throat after you wake up
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Loud snoring that disrupts your partner’s sleep
  • Chest pain at night
  • Poor attention span, performance in school, or behavioral issues in children

You might not even have a clue that you have this sleep disorder because most of the symptoms will occur when you are asleep. But if you have a family member or a bedmate who can watch out for the symptoms, then you will have a better shot at ascertaining whether you have the disorder.

Talk to Our Dentist

Avoid the temptation of self-diagnosis. You might end up drawing the wrong conclusion. Therefore, visit our dentist, who might help you by running specific tests and, if necessary, refer you to a sleep specialist.

Several sleep apnea causes exist, so visiting our dentist can help single out the unique one to your case. Sleep apnea causes be linked to:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Obesity
  • Use of sedatives or alcohol
  • Hormone abnormalities
  • Family history
  • Poor posture
  • Anatomical characteristics

Our dentist has several sleep apnea treatments in Ajax, ON, ranging from lifestyle alterations to specific devices such as CPAP that help keep the airways open while you are asleep.

Don’t Dismiss Snoring

Inasmuch as primary snoring is not necessarily linked to sleep apnea, you shouldn’t just assume that it’s a natural part of aging or as a standard and regular part of life. When it’s chronic and loud, you may need to get checked.

Contact us at Dr. Patel Dentistry if you need to schedule an appointment.

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