A potentially serious disorder, sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted throughout the night. Of the three types of sleep apnea, obstructive is the most common, occurring when the throat muscles relax and block the airway. Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is a result of the brain failing to signal the muscles that control breathing, and complex sleep apnea syndrome is when someone suffers from both of the above mentioned types.
As sleep is essential to the body’s day-to-day functioning, insufficient or interrupted rest for prolonged periods of time can cause more serious conditions. Obstructive sleep apnea, for instance, can lead to high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. For such reasons, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea in order to obtain a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, particularly the obstructive type, is loud snoring. Although such snoring is chronic, it may not happen every night. Over time, however, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say it can become louder and more frequent.
It’s important to note that, while snoring is quite common, it is not always indicative of sleep apnea. In order to receive a proper diagnosis, be sure to book an appointment with a doctor.