Snoring is the most recognizable symptom of sleep apnea, which results in your airway being blocked. The extent of the blockage is revealed in the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI), which counts the number of times per hour that the blockage occurs. The higher the blockage, the more destructive the apnea is to your body.
The Apnea-Hypopnea Index categorizes the severity of apnea as:
None/minimal: Fewer than five episodes per hour
Mild: Five to 14 per hour
Moderate: 15 to 29 per hour
Severe: 30 or more per hour
However, since sleep apnea disrupts your sleep and reduces the amount of time you spend in deep sleep, you may also experience symptoms including:
Headaches and body pain
Snoring and poor sleep
Irritability and mood swings
Poor health and seeing numerous doctors
Falling asleep at the wheel
In addition, sleep apnea and poor sleep are associated with health problems including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. However, if you’re overweight, you may have excess tissue that can block your airways. Also, colds and allergies can cause inflammation that leads to sleep apnea, and alcohol consumption can further relax your soft palate.