Most of us suffer from snoring activity during sleep. While most of these are called “simple snorers” or primary snores, some may have serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
The two conditions are often inaccurately used interchangeably and may be incorrectly treated as a result. While sleep apnea will almost always leads to loud and frequent snoring, snoring does not always indicate sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is characterized by frequent breaks or pauses in breathing during sleep.
3 Forms of Sleep Apnea:
1. Central sleep apnea (CSA)
The pauses are due to the brain failing to signal the respiratory system to breathe.
2. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
Breathing is interrupted by a physical blockage in the upper airways
3. Mixed sleep apnea
A combination of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
Of the three, obstructive sleep apnea is by far the most common of the sleep apneas accounting for approximately 85% of cases. Central sleep apnea accounts for less than 1%.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:
- Loud Snoring
- Waking up with a very dry throat.
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation.
- Frequent breaks or pauses in breathing
- You’re tired all the time
- You are often irritable, depressed, or experience mood swings.
If you have experienced any of the previous symptoms it may be time to contact a sleep specialist to schedule a sleep study. Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause a whole slew of medical problems and can put you at an increased risk for many health issues including: heart failure, arrhythmias, diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks.