Snoring is a common problem, and most people will snore occasionally, but it may also be a symptom of a far more serious condition called sleep apnoea.
What is the Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnoea?
The most common form of sleep apnoea is obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and is caused when the muscles in the throat relax during sleep, collapsing inwards and obstructing the airway. Whereas snorers will continually breathe, sleep apnoea is characterised by frequent pauses in breathing, often lasting several seconds before the sufferer is prompted by their body to restart breathing, usually with a loud gasp or snort. Generally, these pauses would not awaken you, but they can occur hundreds of times a night, preventing deep and restive sleep.
What are the Symptoms of OSA?
People with OSA will frequently be unaware they have this problem but will often feel excessively sleepy or fatigued which negatively impacts general health. If you have untreated OSA, your risk of heart attacks and stroke is increased. A lack of sleep makes it difficult to concentrate at work or school, and tiredness can cause accidents.
If you suspect you might have sleep apnoea, it is worth seeking treatment. Often it can be corrected with a night guard, a comfortable, custom-made device that helps to prevent the airway from collapsing, so you benefit from a restful night’s sleep.