Sleep Apnea

The Relationship between Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Things You Need to Know

The normal flow of air through the upper airway is disrupted in both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. People with obstructive sleep apnea often snore. However, only some who snore also have OSA, and vice versa. The condition known as obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there are pauses in breathing lasting more than 10 seconds. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

Snoring is commonly a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep condition that disrupts breathing while you sleep. While OSA is not present in all people who snore, the following symptoms, besides snoring, should promptly arrange a visit to the doctor:

  • Stops in breathing have been seen in sleep
  • Concentration issues
  • Extreme drowsiness throughout the afternoon
  • Migraines when waking up
  • Disordered sleeping
  • Waking with a sore throat
  • Nighttime coughing or gasping for air
  • Nighttime chest discomfort.
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Your noisy snoring is keeping your spouse awake at night
  • Short attention span, disruptive conduct, or academic failure in kids

Snoring loudly followed by quiet during intervals when breathing stops or almost ceases is a common symptom of OSA. Eventually, the slowing or stopping of breathing might startle you up, and you could jolt awake with a snort or gasp. Light sleep is possible if your sleep has been interrupted. The pauses in breathing may occur many times during the night.

When is it time to visit a doctor?

Medical attention is strongly recommended if you or your spouse is experiencing or notices any of the following:

  • Disturbing snoring that prevents you or others from sleeping
  • Holding your breath when you sleep
  • You wake up gasping for air or choking
  • Being very sleepy throughout the day. You may nod off at the office, in front of the TV, or behind the wheel

Not all people who snore suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and not all people who snore have a significant problem.

How Can Snoring Be Treated?

The severity of the snoring and the issues it creates will determine the best course of treatment. Unless primary or occasional snoring is causing sleep disruption for the snorer or a bed partner, therapy may not be essential. The medicines for these conditions are often less complicated and less intrusive. Treatment for sleep apnea sufferers is often more extensive.

Changes in behavior, using a unique mouthpiece, oral exercises, a positive airway pressure (PAP) device, or even surgical removal of the adenoids may all be effective therapies. The doctor treating a patient is in the most excellent position to weigh the benefits and risks of any potential treatment.


If you suffer from sleep apnea, adopting healthy habits like eating well and exercising regularly is essential—these aid in reducing the severity of your sleep apnea and alleviating its associated symptoms. Your doctor may need to check you often to ensure your therapy is having the desired effect. Getting enough shut-eye is essential to maintaining physical and mental wellness. If you regularly don’t get enough sleep, your health and well-being are at risk.