30% - 50% of people snore. 20% of people who snore have some form of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). 50% of people who snore loud enough to be heard behind a closed door has some form of OSA. 95% of people diagnosed with OSA snore. Between 80% - and 90% of people with obstructive sleep apnea have not been diagnosed.
Snoring is the sound of an obstruction in the airway. Think of the airway as a tube. When you are sleeping and the muscles relax, the walls of the tube begin to collapse on itself causing an obstruction. The obstruction of the air flow will cause a vibration that results in the sound we call snoring.
Snoring can be harmless and only be a problem for the people around you. Then again, snoring can be a sign of a serious medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Only a sleep study that is reviewed by a sleep physician can tell the difference between harmless snoring and OSA.
What are some signs that your snoring is more serious than annoying?
- Do you snore loud enough to be heard behind a closed door? If so, you have a 50% chance of having some form of sleep apnea. Would you believe some people snore loud enough to damage your hearing?
- Have you been told you stop breathing while sleeping? Ever wake up gasping for air?
- Do you often wake up throughout the night? Even to use the washroom? If so, you have a 48% chance of having some form of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Do you require more than one medication to control your blood pressure? If so you have 83% chance of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Do you feel fatigued throughout the day regardless of the number of hours you were asleep?
- Do you have type II diabetes? If so you have 48% chance of some form of obstructive sleep apnea.
Hopefully your snoring is just snoring. If we can rule out OSA we can significantly reduce or possibly eliminate your snoring. While this may not directly affect you, it will be a welcomed change for the people around you.
However, if you have obstructive sleep apnea and do not have it treated, studies are now saying that untreated sleep apnea is a greater risk to your health that smoking tobacco. Please give us a call and we would be happy to set up a time for a free consultation.