Snoring and sleep apnea are commonly associated conditions, which can lead to some confusion. They are not the same condition, but they are closely related, and many people with one condition may also suffer from the other.
Snoring is caused by turbulent airflow in your throat. When you sleep, your muscles relax and, because you are lying down, your tissue will weigh down on itself, causing your airway to narrow. This causes the air going through your throat to become erratic and uneven, causing vibrations that we hear as sound.
Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops at night. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which is related to snoring. If your airway actually closes during sleep, rather than simply narrowing, your breathing will stop altogether, what is known as an apneic event. Your body responds to the oxygen shortage in many ways, including increasing your heartbeat and waking your brain just enough to tell the muscles to reopen the airway.
Because narrowing of the airway often precedes complete closure, many people with sleep apnea are also snorers. But many people with sleep apnea do not snore.
The only way to know if you have sleep apnea is to be evaluated by a licensed sleep doctor. For a referral to a sleep doctor in Calgary, Alberta, please contact Aesthetic Dental Studio.