December 21, 2020
Thanks to the internet and how easily it can spread information, there are loads of sleep apnea myths. This disorder affects millions of people with an estimated 80% of cases left untreated, which is why it’s vital to have the right information at your disposal. Read on to learn the truth behind the most common myths about sleep apnea!
Myth #1: Snoring & Sleep Apnea Are the Same
While loud snoring is one of the main symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s not always a warning sign! Snoring occurs when there is vibration of the soft tissues in the throat and airway, indicating that there is some difficulty moving air in and out of the lungs. However, this can occur on its own independent of sleep apnea. That’s why it’s vital to check for other symptoms in addition to snoring like daytime drowsiness, moodiness or waking up frequently throughout the night feeling out of breath.
Myth #2: Sleep Apnea Only Affects Men
While men are more likely to be affected by sleep apnea, this condition can unfortunately affect anyone. In fact, women are most affected after menopause—roughly 6% of them have the condition. Notably, women may experience different symptoms like insomnia, depression, and fatigue without some of the overt signs like loud snoring, so be on the lookout for these.
Myth #3: All CPAP Machines & Masks Are the Same
Especially for those newly diagnosed with sleep apnea, a myth exists that all solutions are the same. Whether you have a CPAP machine or an oral appliance, treatment is treatment, right? Wrong. A CPAP machine works by forcing air through your airway using a nasal mask. This can often be uncomfortable and a hassle to set up. On the other hand, oral appliances position your jaw and/or tongue to unblock your airway for easy breathing. The oral appliance is comfortable to wear, easy to use, and travel-friendly, making it a very popular treatment option.
Myth #4: Sleep Apnea Can Go Away on Its Own
Getting used to your sleep apnea therapy can be a difficult process, which makes many who are affected abandon it altogether. Some don’t even take this condition seriously, thinking they can go about their lives without treatment. However, sleep apnea can lead to increased risks of issues like heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Without getting treatment, you’re also putting yourself at risk of car accidents and mishandling heavy machinery due to the drowsiness that sleep apnea causes. This condition rarely goes away on its own. But, things like losing weight, quitting smoking, and getting surgery can lessen the condition and make it easier to treat.
If you even think you might have sleep apnea, it’s wise to seek out treatment as soon as possible so you can stay as healthy and rested as possible.
Meet the Sleep Dentist
Dr. David B. Schwartz is a dentist with decades of experience and extensive knowledge of the relationship between your mouth and airway. He provides personalized oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea to help his patients avoid the dangers it can cause. For any questions, contact Dr. Schwartz through his website or by phone at (847) 677-2808.
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