Could snoring cause me to fall asleep while driving?

This question was asked in Bowie, Maryland on 06/22/2012.
I have issues with falling asleep at the wheel. Could my snoring have something to do with it? How can I get it treated?

Doctors Answers (4)

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 7/10/2012

Snoring is a symptom that suggests sleep apnea. People who have sleep apnea are basically sleep deprived and fall asleep very easily whenever they get a chance. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study. Most sleep apnea are treated with a CPAP machine which requires sleeping with a machine and mask that helps with breathing. It is best you see a sleep physician.

Ramie A. Tritt, M.D., FRCSC
Answered on: 6/27/2012

Snoring by itself will not cause you to fall asleep while driving. However, if you have sleep apnea then you may fall asleep while driving. Almost 100% of the time, if you have sleep apnea you will snore. However, the reverse is not true. Which means you may snore but not have sleep apnea. I have read reports which state that only 30% of people who snore have sleep apnea. The more severe the sleep apnea condition, the more fatigue and drowsiness one suffers from. The more fatigue you suffer from, the likelier that you will fall asleep while driving. You need to see a physician who specializes in snoring and sleep disorders if you fall asleep while driving. You will also need an overnight sleep study to determine the severity of your sleep apnea, which then determines the treatment options to be given under the direction and care of the sleep specialist.

Marjorie Yong, M.D.
Answered on: 6/25/2012

Yes! Falling asleep at the wheel may be because of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea presents as snoring many of the times. You need to have a sleep study done to check for this asap.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 6/25/2012

Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea which is often associated with daytime sleepiness. The apneas create arousals of brain function (not awakenings). This interruption of brain activity results in daytime sleepiness. You should tell your physician about your symptoms. A sleep study is warranted.