Is It Just Snoring or Is It Sleep Apnea? Unmasking the Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions

- By Lofta
Is It Just Snoring or Is It Sleep Apnea? Unmasking the Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions
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By Lofta
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Written by Scott Baylon

August 18, 2023


Do you snore?

It's ok, you're not alone. Research suggests that 30-40% of Americans habitually snore.

Some might think it's just an annoying habit. However, there's a possibility that those snores could be a signal of something more serious—sleep apnea. In this article, we delve into the distinction between mere snoring and sleep apnea, shedding light on the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for this prevalent sleep disorder. By recognizing the clues and understanding the available testing and treatment avenues, you can take proactive steps towards improved sleep health and overall well-being.

Understanding the Difference:

While snoring and sleep apnea share a common nighttime soundscape, they are fundamentally distinct. Snoring is a noise produced when the airflow causes the tissues in the throat to vibrate. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, involves brief but repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, often accompanied by choking or gasping. These pauses, known as apneas, can be caused by the relaxation of throat muscles, leading to restricted airflow and lower oxygen levels.

Signs and Symptoms:

Distinguishing between snoring and sleep apnea hinges on recognizing the telltale signs and symptoms associated with the latter. Beyond loud snoring, sleep apnea may manifest through excessive daytime sleepiness, frequent waking during the night, difficulty staying asleep, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Additionally, partners might observe abrupt awakenings due to choking or gasping for air. If you or a loved one experience these symptoms, it's essential to consider the possibility of sleep apnea and seek appropriate evaluation.

Testing and Treatment:

Seeking proper diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea is pivotal for long-term health. Sleep studies, conducted in sleep centers or through home sleep apnea tests, can accurately diagnose the condition. Depending on the severity, treatment options range from lifestyle modifications to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which involves using a device to keep the airway open during sleep. Other treatments include oral appliances, positional therapy, and in some cases, surgical interventions.


Snoring might seem benign, but if it's accompanied by other symptoms, it could be an indicator of sleep apnea—a condition that warrants attention and intervention. By understanding the distinction between snoring and sleep apnea, recognizing the signs and symptoms, and exploring available testing and treatment options, you're taking a proactive stance toward your sleep health. At Lofta, we're dedicated to supporting your journey to better sleep through at-home testing, offering educational resources, guidance from licensed respiratory therapists, and quality CPAP equipment to help you rest easy and breathe freely. Don't let the masks of snoring and sleep apnea blur your path to rejuvenating sleep and a healthier life—unmask the truth and take the first step towards transformative change.

Need to get tested? Learn more about the Lofta Home Sleep Test