Snoring is a major symptom of obstructive
sleep apnea (OSA). But even though most people who have
sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea.
Snoring occurs when the flow of air from the mouth or nose to the
lungs is disturbed during sleep, usually by a blockage or narrowing in the
nose, mouth, or throat (airway).
If you snore and do not have sleep apnea, your
snoring is steady and does not disturb your sleep. You do not stop breathing
and oxygen levels in your blood do not change.
In sleep apnea, how loud and how often you snore changes often.
Your snoring disturbs your sleep, your breathing stops at times, and oxygen
levels in your blood go down.
If you are overweight, you may have more tissue in your neck, which
can press down on the airway at night and block some of the airflow. Although
your breathing does not stop, your breaths may be smaller, so the oxygen levels
in your blood may go down. You may snore loudly and sleep badly.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerMark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine