Tamara J. Herremans, D.D.S

965 S. Kipling Parkway, Ste. A | Lakewood, CO 80226

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Snoring and Sleep Apnea - What’s the Difference?

We get a lot of questions about the difference between snoring and sleep apnea. We’ll give basic definitions and difference between snoring and sleep apnea in this blog and in subsequent blogs we will discuss the continuing research and discovery concerning health issues for each plus the methods for addressing snoring and/or sleep apnea.

Snoring can affect anyone but it most frequently occurs in men, people that are overweight and tends to worsen with age. Snoring can occur when one or more issues below exist:

  • Nasal airways are obstructed due to allergies or sinus infection
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Excess body weight
  • Sleep aides or sedatives
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout sleep. Many people that have sleep apnea also snore quite loudly. There are two types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is diagnosed in 84% of people diagnosed with sleep apnea and occurs when one or more issues below exists causing the air passage to be smaller or blocked:

    • Muscle tone in throat and tongue is poor
    • Bulky throat tissue due to weight
    • Long soft palate and/or uvula (dangling tissue at back of throat) narrows opening from nose to the throat

  2. Central sleep apnea is caused when the brain does not send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing; this type is rarer and is diagnosed in 4% of people with sleep apnea.

We offer testing, diagnosis and solutions for snoring and/or sleep apnea. Please ask for more information or answers to any questions you may have concerning snoring