Categorized | Sleep Apnea

Is Sleep Apnea Just Snoring

How could sleep apnea be described in very basic terms, is it just as simple as someone who snores?

In fact, sleep apnea is much more than just snoring, and although snoring is often present with people who have the sleeping disorder “Sleep Apnea”, it is not always the case, and at the same time, just because you snore does not mean you also have sleep apnea.

I snore almost every night, but when I take a home sleep study, the results come back that I do not have sleep apnea.  So by this definition sleep apnea is not snoring always.  What is interesting about my sleep study results is that from night to night, my readings in terms of the Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) can vary significantly from 1.2 per hour to over 4 per hour.  This it turns out is normal for everyone. No two nights of sleep are identical, and therefore the amount of snoring you may have one night can be very different on a second night.  This is one of the difficulties in understanding if someone’s snoring is causing a serious or potentially serious health risk.  There are many instances recorded of people who snore who develop sleep apnea over time, but for many years do not suffer from any symptoms and lead a healthy and normal life.

Some recommendations that can benefit everyone who snores during sleep is to have a check up with your family doctor, and request to undergo a sleep study.  The sleep study can be performed either at home or in an overnight sleep lab environment.  There is a test which is recorded for the sleep study that is called a Polysomnography Test, which will record your breathing and also your oxygen levels and a few other pieces of data including the level of snoring you have.  Once you have these results of the sleep study scored, you will be able to determine with your physician if your snoring is sleep apnea or not.  There is really no reason not to do this as insurance often covers the complete or partial costs of this diagnostic sleep test.

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