Dr. Praveen Kumar B S

Consultant - Pulmonology

Book Appointment

Subscribe to our blogs

Reviewed by

Dr. Praveen Kumar B S

Consultant - Pulmonology

Manipal Hospitals, Yeshwanthpur

Snoring - Just A Noisy Nuisance Or A Warning For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Posted On: Jan 29, 2024

blogs read 3 Min Read

Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms diagnosis and treatment

Snoring often ignored as a harmless noisy nuisance, may not be as innocent as it seems. Occasional snoring need not trigger any warning bells. But frequent snoring leading to sleeplessness or disturbed sleep may be a precursor to a more serious and potentially life-threatening condition - Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Understanding the nuances of snoring and its association with OSA is crucial. In this write-up, we attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of snoring and OSA.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA and why is it bad news for you?

OSA is a type of sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder characterised by repeated involuntary pauses in breathing while sleeping. Obstructive sleep apnea happens due relaxation of throat muscles causing blockage of the airflow into the lungs. If left untreated, OSA can pose serious health risks, including an increased likelihood of cardiovascular events and respiratory failure.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Lab Diagnosis - OSA is diagnosed through an overnight sleep study in a sleep lab, monitoring various sleep-time events and disturbances.

Symptoms of OSA

  • Loud Snoring: Isolated snoring is usually harmless, but loud snoring may indicate an underlying issue.

  • Uncontrolled daytime sleepiness: Feeling excessively tired during the day despite a seemingly adequate night's sleep may indicate disrupted sleep patterns.

  • Choking at Night: Episodes of choking or gasping during sleep suggest interruptions in breathing, a hallmark of OSA.

  • Decreased concentration: OSA can lead to cognitive impairments, affecting concentration and mental clarity.

  • Unrefreshing Sleep: Even after a full night's sleep, individuals with OSA may wake up feeling unrested and groggy.

  • Waking up with heaviness in the head or headache: Persistent headaches and a sense of heaviness or dullness in the morning may be associated with inadequate oxygen intake during sleep.

  • Anxiety/Depression: Mental health may be affected, with symptoms such as anxiety and depression becoming more prevalent.

  • Increased risk of accident: OSA increases the risk of accidents, especially when driving, due to extreme fatigue and drowsiness.

Treatment Options - Fortunately, treatment options are available for OSA, ranging from lifestyle modifications to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy and, in severe cases, surgical interventions. Consult a good pulmonologist in Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore to get a detailed analysis on the sympoms.

Complications of Untreated OSA

Untreated OSA can lead to a chain of health problems, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Cardio-metabolic issues
  • Respiratory and heart failure

Interaction with Co-morbidities:

  • Conditions like COPD or heart failure can exacerbate OSA, creating a vicious cycle of deteriorating health.

Myths and Facts about OSA

  • Myth 1: OSA is Rare
  • Fact: OSA is a very common medical condition but is often underestimated and underdiagnosed. Studies state that 2-8% of adults suffer from OSA. 
  • Myth 2: OSA Only Affects Adults
  • Fact: Even children can develop OSA, emphasising the importance of early detection and intervention.
  • Myth 3: OSA is Infection-Related.
  • Fact: OSA is primarily a lifestyle disorder, often linked to poor sleep hygiene. Obesity (BMI > 30) and a short neck are risk factors.

Snoring, often dismissed as a mere annoyance, can serve as a crucial signal of an underlying health concern - Obstructive Sleep Apnea. By recognising the symptoms and dispelling common myths, individuals can take proactive steps towards diagnosis and treatment at Manipal Hospitals Yeshwanthpur, ensuring a healthier and more restful sleep, and ultimately, a better quality of life.

Share this article on:

Subscribe to our blogs

Thank You Image

Thank you for subscribing to our blogs.
You will be notified when we upload a new blog