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What’s the Difference Between Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

Snoring and sleep apnoea are a disease on the same spectrum. Snoring is a reverberation of tissue, while obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a reverberation of tissue associated with inconsistent breathing during sleep.


What causes snoring and OSA?

The causes of both snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea is complex and can include both anatomical issues and a problem with how the muscles react in the sleep state. Some of the anatomical issues can include enlarged tonsils at the back of the throat. or a big tongue.

Nasal congestion and obstruction can contribute to snoring and OSA. However, the collapse of other soft tissue in the upper airways is the main cause with the nasal airway contributing by increased the resistance of airflow and increasing the risk of downstream soft tissue collapse.


What is the burden on the patient? 

Snoring and OSA have potentially concerning side-effects on a person’s long-term health. Severe apnoea, which involves over 30 instances of breathing pauses during sleep, can increase the risk of all-cause mortality and have an affect on multiple body systems. This means increased risk of having arrhythmias. heart attack, stroke or dementia.

Both disorders also affect a sufferer’s quality of sleep.

To learn about the treatment plan for sleep apnoea and OSA, please watch the video above. You can also book a consultation with Dr. Julia Crawford  to find out if a surgical approach is appropriate in your particular case.