Sleep Apnea versus Snoring

The Greek word "apnea" means "without breath."

 

People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.

There is often confusion and sleep apnea can be diagnosed as snoring. Sometimes the sleeping partner or the sleep clinic can be the only one that will pick up the symptoms, between the two.

Left untreated, Sleep Apnea can cause:

  • high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease,
  • memory problems,
  • weight gain,
  • impotency,
  • an erratic short-term memory,
  • mood swings
  • headaches (due to the brain being deprived of oxygen during the night).
  • It can effect both one’s efficiency and productivity at work, and can impair one’s ability to drive or handle potentially dangerous equipment.

There are three types of Sleep Apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed apnea.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) should be suspected in patients who are overweight, snore loudly, and have chronic daytime sleepiness. It is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. Heavy snoring will usually start almost immediately once the patient has fallen asleep. A long silence will then follow to signal that the patient is no longer breathing and then the silence will finally be broken with a loud snort or gasp when the patient attempts to breathe again. The diagnosis of Sleep Apnea may be confirmed by sleep laboratory studies.

 

  • Central Sleep Apnea differs to OSA as it is not caused by a blockage in the airway. Central Sleep Apnea occurs in patients who have certain medical problems whereby the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.

 

  • Mixed Apnea is a combination of the two. Mixed Sleep Apnea can sometimes develop when OSA becomes so serious and longstanding that the patient starts to experience episodes of Central Sleep Apnea as well.

With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with Sleep Apnea in order for them to resume breathing. As a result, sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality. Sleep Apnea is very common but it is a serious disorder that can have significant consequences.

Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. SnoreMeds™ has been proven to be effective in reducing snoring and Sleep Apnea in cases where the apnea is mild to moderate. In any event, we advise that you first consult with your doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist.