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Sleep apnea, when snoring is more than a nuisance

Snoring is very annoying, both for the person who snores, and for their loved ones, but snoring is not particularly dangerous in itself. However, there is another condition, linked to snoring, which can have much more dangerous medical implications. It’s about sleep apnea.

This syndrome is a frequent condition within the adult population. It is a sleep disorder that causes the breathing to stop at times while sleeping. In addition to the characteristic snoring, another of the main symptoms is excessive tiredness and drowsiness during the day. asociada a un mayor riesgo de hipertensión arterial , enfermedades cardiovasculares, como así también a accidentes laborales y de tránsito. It is associated with an increased risk of hypertension , cardiovascular diseases, as well as work and traffic accidents.

What exactly does it consist of?

Sleep apnea, known in medical terms as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), causes a stoppage of breathing at times while sleeping. During sleep, patients who suffer from apnea may stop breathing for up to 10 seconds when obstructions in their airways stop the flow of air to the lungs.

When this happens, the lack of oxygen causes the person to wake up from a deep sleep to a much lighter sleep or even to wake up completely. This is often combined with a tremendous snore or snort to clear the blockage.

This disease, which is more common in men , is suffered by 2 to 10% of people. When there is excessive weight, there are more chances of suffering from this disease , but also suffer individuals without overweight problems.

Types of apnea

There are 2 main types of apneas:

1) Apnea – The muscles of the throat relax and collapse causing a total obstruction of the respiratory tract.

2) Hypopnea – There is partial obstruction of the airways, reducing the amount of air that reaches the lungs by more than 50%.


Sleep apnea often goes unnoticed, as people who suffer from it think that they are simply always tired. That is why it is so important to know the symptoms to detect the disease:

  • Heavy snoring when sleeping
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Excessive fatigue and fatigue during the day
  • Fall asleep anywhere during the day

Possible treatments

Although it is sometimes not possible to cure sleep apnea completely, it is possible to significantly reduce its effects.

Some changes are highly recommended, such as:

  • Lose weight
  • Reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption
  • Sleeping on your side or on your stomach

If you sleep with another person, you can ask them to help you identify snoring to see if it can be Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Do not be alarmed because not everyone who snores suffer from sleep apnea, but it is true that everyone who suffers from sleep apnea, snore.

There are three factors that increase the chances of suffering from sleep apnea and are: systemic hypertension, obesity , fatigue during the day. If you suffer two of these problems it is important that you go to a specialist to assess your situation.

Photograph courtesy of Sunchasers

Sleep apnea, when snoring is more than a nuisance