The fast answer to the common question, “Are sleep apnea and snoring identical?” is simply, “No.” However, there are some helpful details to go along with this statement. Why? Well, the two sleep disorders are both related and often occur together (though not always). Take in some new information with a helpful Q&A session for a deeper understanding of these sleep disruptors.
Questions and Answers
Question: What is the primary difference between these two sleeping concerns?
Answer: The primary difference is that when sleep apnea occurs, the tissues in your throat completely collapse against each other and you stop breathing until your brain insists you wake up. With snoring, your throat tissues collapse only partially, which causes the loud noise known as snoring (this occurs when the tissues vibrate together as you are breathing).
Question: Is it equally important that I treat either one of these issues if I’m experiencing a problem?
Answer: It is actually more important that you treat sleep apnea. While snoring can be annoying and can cause you to wake up throughout the night, it doesn’t interrupt your ability to breathe. Sleep apnea, however, stops you from breathing many times each night, which can lead to significant health problems.
Question: If I snore, does that mean that I probably suffer from both issues?
Answer: Not necessarily. You may be a snorer without additional complications. However, if you snore very loudly, this might be a sign that you also suffer from sleep apnea. For a definitive diagnosis, let us know about your usual nightly experience and your daily level of energy, so we can help.