Is Snoring a Sign of Sleep Apnea?

A senior couple on bicycles enjoying good weatherSnoring is a common problem that many people chalk up to being a nuisance. However, snoring could actually be a sign of sleep apnea, which is a potentially serious chronic sleep disorder that involves disrupted breathing during sleep.

There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is less common (about five percent of sleep apnea cases) and involves a disruption of the brain signals that trigger respiratory function. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is due to an airway obstruction. Snoring is often a sign of OSA, as are the following symptoms:

  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Daytime fatigue and drowsiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Nighttime chest pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Restless sleep
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom at night

Left untreated, this sleep disorder can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, or an irregular heartbeat. Treatments like behavior modification or pressure machines like CPAP or BiPAP may be necessary.

Sleep Disorder Treatment in the Tampa Bay Area

Sleep apnea and other chronic sleep disorders can be diagnosed by the expert team of physicians and medical professionals at one of BayCare’s many Sleep Disorders Centers located throughout the Tampa Bay area. If you snore and think you may have a sleep disorder, talk to your physician about getting a referral for a sleep study evaluation in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Largo, Seminole, Safety Harbor, New Port Richey or one of the surrounding areas. You can learn more about our sleep disorder services by calling (866) 328-9932, registering for a sleep disorder class or event.