| How is
snoring related to obstructive sleep apnea?
snoring is caused by a partial obstruction, obstructive sleep
apnea (OSA) is a temporary but complete closure of your throat
during sleep. It results in repeated episodes of stopping
breathing (apnea) during which you continue to make efforts
to breathe. Loud snoring is the most common symptom of OSA.
The sound occurs as you briefly waken at the end of the apneic
period and begin to breathe. Some OSA sufferers are described
as making snoring or gasping sounds when they resume breathing.
A history of snoring often precedes the development of other
symptoms which include excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue,
memory impairment, morning head ache, poor work performance
and loss of sexual interest. Severe OSA can result in serious
complications including high blood pressure, heart rhythm
disturbances and heart failure. The diagnosis of OSA is made
by specialized testing. An overnight sleep study is required
to confirm the diagnosis and determine its severity.
Snoring without apnea is not usually harmful to your health
and many snorers who have none of the above symptoms do not
have significant OSA. However, some people with OSA are unaware
they have it. Thus, careful medical attention is required
to ensure the OSA is properly diagnosed and treated.
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