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Snoring and Sleep Apnea: What’s the Difference?

July 14, 2016

Filed under: Sleep Apnea Therapy — Tags: , , , — e_anderson @ 3:26 pm

sleep apnea in colorado springsIs your chronic snoring the result of sleep apnea? Not necessarily. It’s estimated that 50 percent of adults snore, but less than half of those people are affected by sleep apnea. So while every obstructive sleep apnea sufferer snores, not all sufferers have sleep apnea. (Kind of like how every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.) Let’s take a look at the connection between snoring and sleep apnea in Colorado Springs to help you determine what’s causing your interrupted sleep.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of the condition that causes frequent interruptions in the sleep cycle. OSA occurs when the tongue or lower jaw block the airway, temporarily cutting off oxygen to the brain. Treatment for sleep apnea is crucial for avoiding the dangerous side effects of the condition, like high blood pressure, stroke, and even premature death.  

Identifying Sleep Apnea

How do you tell the difference between snoring and sleep apnea? Recognize the symptoms of sleep apnea which do not usually affect chronic snorers. These include the following.

  • Frequent waking throughout the night (often noticed by a partner)
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Not feeling refreshed after what you believe was a full night’s sleep
  • Falling asleep throughout the day, while watching TV, in the car, at work
  • Confusion and/or irritability

It can be difficult to determine on your own whether or not you are suffering from snoring or sleep apnea. A sleep test performed in a sleep center can help to identify the cause of your disruptive symptoms. To undergo the test, you will spend the night in a sleep center connected to special machines that monitor your bodily functions. These devices gather information on your eye movement, breathing, and brain and muscle activity while at rest. Patients who prefer not to spend the night in a sleep center may be able to perform an at-home sleep test.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Once it’s been determined that sleep apnea is the cause of your chronic snoring, we can proceed with sleep apnea treatment in Colorado Springs. The solution may come in the form of a removable oral appliance, or the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. Many patients are intolerant of the CPAP, and prefer to treat their sleep apnea and snoring with the small, portable, and silent removable oral appliance instead.

If you are a chronic snorer and suspect you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, do not wait to schedule an appointment with your sleep apnea dentist in Colorado Springs. We will work with you to help you enjoy a full night of uninterrupted sleep — every single night!

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