Does snoring mean that I have sleep apnea?

This question was asked in King, North Carolina on 03/29/2012.
I am having problems with snoring. I would like to know if I have something going on with my throat. I would like to know if I have sleep apnea, and if I can do a sleep study.

Doctors Answers (2)

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 3/29/2012

Snoring is a symptom that is produced by the vibration of tissue during sleep as the muscles on the airway relax. Snoring is usually symptom that affects the bed partner more than the patient themselves. It is one of the most common reasons patient presents to the sleep clinic. Snoring does not necessarily mean that the person has sleep apnea, but is a symptom. Snoring in kids is almost always abnormal and needs proper evaluation. Sleep study is needed to confirm the diagnosis of sleep apnea and identify how bad is the sleep apnea. That helps make a better plan for treatment.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 3/22/2012

Snoring is the mildest form of sleep disordered breathing where vibration through the soft tissues occurs during sleep. Partial or total occlusion of the airway is present during hypopnea or apnea respectively. If you are still tired after a night's sleep or sleepy during the day and you are curious about the degree of sleep disordered breathing and the potential problems then you should have your primary care physician refer you to a sleep specialist for an evaluation.