“Snoring or Sleep Apnea?” – Here’s the difference!

Do you snore? Look here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Snoring or Sleep Apnoea? Proven Ways to Identify the Symptoms

29 April 2021

Do you snore? Sleep apnoea can be life threatening. Snoring, although a symptom of sleep apnoea, may not technically be “dangerous” on its own. How can you tell the difference between the two?

Know the Signs of Sleep Apnoea

In addition to snoring, some of the most common warning signs of a sleeping disorder include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue, depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Worn or flattened teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • A large neck circumference
  • Bruxism (clenching and grinding your teeth)

If you’re taking medication for any of these conditions but continue to struggle with snoring, it’s important to step back and take a holistic approach to your overall wellness. It may tie back to oxygen deprivation from sleep apnoea as opposed to a specific medical concern.

On the other hand, occasional snoring may be nothing to worry about. If you’re sick with a cold or happened to drink alcohol before you went to bed, you’re more likely to snore than someone else.

If it Involves a Child

woman sleeping on her side stop snore remedy

Children with sleeping disorders are much more likely to exhibit symptoms of ADHD, nocturesis (bedwetting), teeth grinding, and behavioural challenges at home and school. In reality, they may just be sleep deprived and not getting the quality of rest their growing bodies require.

Snoring can be attributed to something like enlarged tonsils or blocked nasal passages due to seasonal allergies. But if other symptoms are present — especially teeth grinding —  it’s more likely that your child is struggling with a clinical sleep disorder.

Ask for a Sleep Study

If you have two or more symptoms of sleep apnoea and your oral screening indicates enlarged tissues near the back of your throat, it’s best to go ahead and request a sleep study. The great news is that today it’s possible to have a sleep study completed in your own home, instead of in an overnight lab.

Simply wear the device as directed as the bedside machine records data like your pulse oxygen levels, breathing rate, and severity of your snoring. All of the information is processed and interpreted by a licensed sleep physician for a formal diagnosis. Once it’s reviewed, you can know whether you simply have chronic snoring or something more serious like sleep apnoea.

Why it Matters

Sleep apnoea isn’t something that anyone should ignore. Daytime fatigue could lead to a serious automobile accident or on-the-job injury. Or what’s more likely is the cardiovascular strain of chronic sleep apnoea eventually leads to a heart attack or stroke. By the time a serious medical emergency occurs, it may be too late.

Recognising the differences between snoring and sleep apnoea could actually save the life of you or your loved one.

Call Our Snore Doctors

At Smile Concepts, our Sydney dentists provide in-house sleep apnoea screenings and oral appliances for certain sleep disorders (including snoring.) Working side by side, we can help you find an efficient solution to get a better night’s rest.

Contact us today to reserve an appointment at our office in Sydney.

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Dr Manish Shah

Dr. Manish Shah is a cosmetic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign in Sydney. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.