Most people consider snoring the most common symptom of sleep apnea and itís true most people with the obstructive form of the condition do snore. Loud snoring alternating with periods of silence are particularly worrisome, as they indicate an absence of breathing, which is the hallmark of sleep apnea. Many people with sleep apnea will also experience episodes of snorting or gasping during sleep, which occur when the drop in oxygen and rise in carbon dioxide resulting from the closing off of the airway alert the brain to arouse the individual.
But sleep apnea can occur in the absence of snoring as well. And not all people who snore have sleep apnea. However, nearly all people with sleep apnea will suffer from daytime sleepiness. Other symptoms include awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat and/or a morning headache. Family members are often the first to notice symptoms related to sleep apnea, especially snoring and breathing interruptions during sleep. The individual with sleep apnea may even deny they occur.