Sleep Apnea Myths We Need To Clear Up
We’ve all had to deal with a snorer at some point in our lives – if you haven’t then you’re probably the one snoring! It’s okay to snore occasionally, but if you’re snoring becomes a regular, and loud, occurrence you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
The interruptions in your breathing that happen due to sleep apnea can have a cumulative effect on your health. As time goes on you’ll find yourself having more and more problems that can be directly tied to your sleep apnea. Problems that could probably have been avoided with sleep apnea treatment at our Orlando office!
There are a lot of untreated sleep apnea cases out there, and a lot of them are because people don’t understand the risks associated with this dangerous conditions. Today we want to talk about some of the misunderstandings of sleep apnea to help you understand just what can happen with the wrong information.
Myth #1: Sleep Apnea Only Happens To The Overweight
Sleep apnea cases are on the rise, and that mainly be attributed to the climbing obesity rate. While a majority of sleep apnea patients are obese they’re hardly the only ones who develop the condition.
Sleep apnea can develop for a number of reasons, all having to do with excess compression on your neck while sleeping. While excess fat tissue is the most common cause of airway collapse it can also be caused by a narrow airway, any oversized neck (i.e., muscle mass), and even smoking before bed.
There’s also a second and far less common kind of sleep apnea called central sleep apnea. It’s caused by a malfunction in your brain’s breathing control center that simply causes you to stop breathing. Anyone can develop this condition regardless of physical symptoms.
Myth #2: If You Snore You Have Sleep Apnea
Not true at all! While there are similar reasons that the two exist there’s no reason to assume that snoring means someone suffers from sleep apnea. Snoring happens because your airway is partially blocked. Tissue relaxation, sinus trouble, and even your jaw hanging open can contribute to snoring. The extra push into total airway blockage is a different thing completely.
Most of us snore from time to time, but most of us don’t end up developing sleep apnea. If you’re concerned that you or someone you share a bed with is snoring more loudly or regularly then there’s cause for concern. Keep an ear open for occasional interruptions in breathing – that’s a sign that they’re having an apneic episode.
Myth #3: Sleep Apnea Is Inconvenient, But Not Dangerous
A lot of people think that the only side effect of sleep apnea is daytime fatigue, but there’s a lot more that can go seriously wrong than just falling asleep at your desk.
Apneas happen multiple times a night, and last just long enough to cause problems with your heart’s ability to properly regular breathing. This can lead to hypertension, and increased risk of heart attack, irregular heartbeat, stroke, and other serious health problems. People suffering from sleep apnea are also far more likely to have diabetes and other health problems as well.
The link between sleep apnea and health trouble is widely recognized – yet another reason why it’s so important to treat quickly!
Treating Sleep Apnea
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea it’s not an option to treat it: it’s pretty much essential! We can make your diagnosis and treatment easy at Overmeyer Family Dental – it’s just important to take the first step toward identifying the problem first!
We can help arrange a sleep test for you, which is the only real definite way to diagnose sleep apnea. Once we know you’re suffering from it we can treat you in two different ways: with an oral appliance or a CPAP machine.
Oral appliances are by far the easiest way to deal with sleep apnea. You simply have to wear the appliance at night and your jaw will be held comfortably in place. They stop snoring and help prevent total airway collapse and are a great first treatment choice.
If an oral appliance doesn’t work then CPAP treatment will be necessary. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, involves using pressurized air to force your airway open. You’ll have to wear a mask while you sleep, which can be uncomfortable for some patients. Nonetheless, CPAP works!
Don’t Go On With Ruined Sleep
The longer your sleep apnea goes untreated the worse it will get. We encourage you to seek treatment for this dangerous condition right away by calling us at (407) 871-3143 or by requesting an appointment online. We look forward to helping you!