How is apnea different from snoring?

Reviews important elements of sleep apnea versus simple snoring.

Snoring is caused by the soft palate vibrating as air is forced to pass through a narrowed airway. Think of snoring as being like the sound of rattling water pipes in an old building. The pipes build up mineral deposits over the years, which narrow the opening, and water being forced through the smaller opening causes the pipes to vibrate.

Snoring can be a warning sign for OSA, since nearly all people who have OSA also snore, often loudly and frequently. However, there are many people who snore who don’t have OSA.

Lack of snoring does not preclude you from having OSA. If other symptoms associated with OSA are present, getting screened and seeking consultation with your primary care physician are recommended.