Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. This could happen when your airway gets blocked or your brain fails to send a signal to alert the muscles and organs that help you to breathe.
Since sleep apnea is linked to a number of other health conditions as well, there are a lot of myths associated with this sleep disorder. A few common sleep apnea myths are listed below:
Sleep apnea is not life threatening
The fact is that sleep interruptions can have negative effects on your mind and body. If you have not slept enough, you may be more prone to heart attacks, road accidents, and workplace injuries.
Snoring is sleep apnea
Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can pause a person’s breath up to 400 times throughout the night and the breathing interruptions can last for 10 to 30 seconds. These frequent breaks in the sleep can make you tired during the day.
Sleep apnea does not block your breathing
Actually it does. If your tongue, tonsils or other tissues at the back of your throat block your airway, obstructive sleep apnea occurs. It blocks the air when you try to breathe
Kids do not get sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common in children and 1 in 10 children may be affected by it. Mostly, children with OSA exhibit mild signs and outgrow the disorder. However, children with severe sleep apnea can develop serious medical conditions and behavioral issues.
Alcohol helps with sleeping
Alcohol can make you drowsy but does not guarantee sound sleep. If you have OSA, your airways can still be blocked even if you drink alcohol.
Losing weight does not help with sleep apnea
Losing weight can help you get rid of sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor about the right weight loss program for you to help deal with sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea only occurs at an old age
One of the common sleep apnea myths is that it only occurs at an old age. However, it is estimated that there are more than 18 million people in the US who are affected by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, but mostly, people above 40 years of age suffer from it. If you are male and overweight, you have an increased risk of suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleeping positions does not have anything to do with sleep apnea
Sleeping on your side can help reduce the chances of sleep apnea occurring. You can use the pillows, which can keep you on your side when you sleep.
With the common myths put to rest, let’s now explore what exactly causes sleep apnea?
The causes of sleep apnea include:
- Recent weight gain
- A family history of sleep apnea
- Supine sleeping
- Sinus problems
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea treatments vary depending on the causes and level of the disorder. Normalizing breathing is the ultimate goal of the treatment. A few treatment options include:
- Continuous positive airway pressure therapy
- Wearing an oral appliance
- Tissue removal
With these common sleep apnea misconceptions cleared and treatment options explained, you’ll be more informed when discussing treatment options with a medical professional. Contact us to get more insights on Sleep Apnea.