Is It Just Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

If your kids, spouse, or housemates regularly request you sleep in the garage, you may be very familiar with jokes about how loudly you snore. However, snoring becomes less amusing when it’s related to a serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

But how do you know when your snoring crosses the line from frustratingly laughable to medically concerning? And is there a fix for your snoring even when it’s not OSA?

The team at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists can answer those questions. With offices in Petoskey and Gaylord, Michigan, our expertly trained physicians often address problems with snoring in our busy practice.

Here’s what we have to say about snoring and sleep apnea.

Why you snore

Snoring occurs when air passes over your tongue and relaxed muscles in your throat as you breathe while you’re sleeping. This can cause your airway to narrow enough that the relaxed tissue vibrates as air flows past, which results in the harsh sounds associated with snoring. 

The volume of your snoring is related to how much your airway narrows as you sleep. The more restricted your airway, the louder you’ll snore.

Underlying causes of snoring include:

Even when it’s not related to OSA, snoring can cause restless nights for you and those who share your sleeping space.

Warning signs of sleep apnea

Unlike a temporary bout of snoring that may occur when you have a cold or allergy symptoms, OSA is a chronic sleep disorder that can affect your overall health.

Individuals with OSA often experience:

OSA is also linked to a variety of serious conditions that can impact your overall health.

Medical complications associated with OSA can include:

Fortunately, there are many treatments available that can eliminate your sleep disturbance and reduce the health risks associated with OSA.

What is the treatment for snoring or sleep apnea?

At Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, we start with a thorough evaluation that includes an examination and detailed discussion of your symptoms.

Depending on the underlying cause of your snoring, we may recommend:

Weight loss and other lifestyle modifications, such as a change in sleep positions, can also help relieve your snoring and help manage the effects of OSA on your overall health.

If snoring is disrupting your sleep, schedule an appointment with us at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists for an evaluation and personalized treatment strategy. Call the office nearest you or book your visit online.  

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