is a noise created by the partial blocking of the airway. When you fall asleep your muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat. The soft tissue at the back of your throat can sag, narrowing the airway. Incoming air then makes the tissue at the rear roof of the mouth (the soft palate), the flap of skin hanging from the palate (uvula) and the throat vibrate – a sound we know as snoring. Snoring is often no greater problem than the noise it creates for your sleeping partner. However, loud snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem – OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea).
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
is when the airway becomes completely blocked and breathing stops. The brain then detects the lack of oxygen and prompts a momentary arousal to draw breath. Although OSA sufferers may experience hundreds of apnea episodes per night, they are unlikely to remember any of them. Daytime tiredness, lethargy and inattention are usually the consequences of poor quality or disrupted sleep. The incidence of cardiovascular disease is also higher in people who have OSA who go untreated.