Snoring is the production of sound due to a partial blockage of air flow during sleep. It is not life-threatening, but it can cause significant discomfort, usually in the form of disrupted sleep for the patient and the patient’s spouse or partner.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when a patient snores, but also undergoes choking episodes during sleep. OSA is a condition in which the throat tissue relaxes and cuts off airflow, leading to imperceptible interruptions in sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue, sleepiness, and poor concentration, leading to potentially dangerous situations such as falling asleep while driving. OSA is also associated with high blood pressure, various heart conditions, diabetes, and even sudden death. OSA usually must be evaluated with a sleep study, and once diagnosed, there are many different treatment options available.