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Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, although they are closely related. As sleep apnea often starts with intense snoring. Which is why we are here to help you decipher the difference between sleep apnea and snoring, in order to better take care of yourself, and get better sleep. So let’s get to it on our guide Sleep Apnea vs Snoring: How To Tell The Difference.
The main difference between generic snoring and sleep apnea, is that sleep apnea obstructs your airway to a degree that causes you to stop breathing for periods of time throughout the night. As you sleep your soft palate relaxes to the point that is covers your airways. For the brief moments when you stop breathing your body wakes itself up with a small kick of adrenaline in order to get you to start breathing again.
This is highly disruptive to a deep and productive nights rest, and well as potentially very dangerous for your health. While snoring can be disruptive to you or your partner’s sleep, it is generally rather harmless.
In order to truly know whether or not you have sleep apnea, or you’re just snoring is by visiting your doctor and doing a sleep study. Either with a Polysonogram (PSG) which detects everything from your heart rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure, chest rise and fall, and so on. These tests are usually done during an overnight sleep study at the doctors.
There are also now at home sleep studies with portable monitors. These tests are less detailed than the PSGs. However, they can often still be used by a doctor to diagnose whether or not what you are experiencing is in fact sleep apnea.
Learn more about snoring in our post: Snoring Causes & Cures
There are some rather common triggers for sleep apnea. As well as health conditions that can make you more susceptible to developing sleep apnea. Although you do not necessarily need to have any of these conditions to experience sleep apnea, they are commonly linked.
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More than likely, you know whether or not you snore. The trick is to determining whether your snoring is harmless or if it is developing into more seriously condition, sleep apnea. If you are wondering whether or not you have sleep apnea, our #1 suggestion is to talk to your doctor.
While you can record and track your snoring with different recording devices and listen for pauses in breaths. This will not be nearly as effective as the tracking devices that your doctor uses to diagnose sleep apnea. Talking to your doctor is the best way to check on your overall health and well being while also getting medical advice for treatments that will work best for you.