Snoring is a common sleep problem occurring in most people now and then. It occurs when relaxed tissues in your throat vibrate as you breathe.
Snoring can be caused by the irregular anatomy of the nose and throat, inflammation of the nose or throat due to allergies or a respiratory infection, and even sleep position in some. Snoring by itself should not result in excessive daytime sleepiness for an individual, (unless your snoring is causing sleep disruption with resultant sleepiness in your bed partner or spouse). When snoring is a chronic problem it can indicate a more serious health condition.
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If obvious pauses in breathing (apnea) are noticed or if there is gasping for air present, then the snoring has progressed to a clinically significant condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Not all people who snore have OSA but when snoring occurs with the below symptoms, it may indicate OSA:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Abnormal cardiac rhythm or palpitations
- Congestive heart failure
- Prior stroke
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- Significant daytime fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Frequent nocturnal urination
- Unexplained insomnia
If you have any of the symptoms above in addition to your snoring, you may need a sleep test.
Diagnostic Testing for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The main two ways for doctors to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea are:
- Traditional Sleep Studies at a Sleep Lab (Nocturnal Polysomnography –NPSG)
- Home Sleep Apnea Tests (HSAT)
If insurance permits, and there are no significant medical contraindications, many patients do prefer Home Sleep Testing.
Call Expert Sleep Medicine at 502-963-0487 and set up a visit with our sleep experts to review which testing option is appropriate for you. If diagnosed with OSA, our doctors will help you find the treatment that works best for you.