Obstructive sleep apnea continues to be widespread across the planet affecting millions alone in the United States. It is believed by sleep specialists that sleep apnea is much more prevalent than it is anticipated to be, and the interesting fact is that more than 50 % of the population remains to be undiagnosed because of the lack of awareness and symptoms to look out for.
In this blog, we will be debunking some of the most popular myths associated with sleep apnea and how you can finally clear some of the misconceptions associated with the disease.
Snoring Is the Same as Sleep Apnea
While snoring is certainly a symptom of sleep apnea, it is not the only warning sign that the disease usually presents with. The fun fact is that you might be snoring frequently yet may not suffer from the disease itself. In simple terms, snoring is characterized by the vibration of soft tissues of the airway and the lungs that indicate that the passage of air entry and air exit is halted. If you suffer from excessive fatigue, day time sleepiness, snoring and disturbed sleep associated with frequent waking, we recommend getting yourself checked up to rule out the possibility of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Only Affects Men
While most sleep apnea sufferers are dominated by the male population, it is safe to say that women can be affected as well. In fact, a staggering 60% of the female population may suffer from the disease post-menopause. Sleep apnea may also present very differently in women than men. A large number of women reports suffering from insomnia, fatigue and depression before they got to know about sleep apnea. Because snoring is far less common in women than men, most cases largely go undiagnosed. If you are a woman who suffers from such symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your sleep therapist ASAP.
Sleep Apnea Won’t Affect Your Life
Largely regarded as a harmless disease, sleep apnea in the vast majority is truly pretty harmless and mostly manageable with a few lifestyle modifications. But in a small percentage of the population, the patients may complain of extreme fatigue and daytime sleepiness such that it affects their work and social life. In others, it may increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Sleep Apnea Only Affects People Who Are Overweight
Obstructive sleep apnea is known to affect the overweight population. Although a vast majority of the sufferers are on a higher BMI scale, there are considerable amounts of patients who are known to suffer from the disease while being thin and lean. Sleep apnea can manifest itself in all shapes and sizes. It has everything to do with the anatomy of your throat or esophagus, which is why a person may suffer from the condition as a predisposition from his parents.
Sleep Apnea Can Go Away on Its Own
Contrary to popular belief, the therapy required to treat sleep apnea may require a tedious adaptation which might cause the patients to drift away from treatment, but sleep apnea should not be taken lightly. Once the therapy is abandoned, the patient may suffer from high blood pressure, increased risk of strokes and even cancer.
Alcohol Reduces Sleep Apnea
This is a huge misconception among a lot of people. Sleep apnea cannot be cured by the use of alcohol. Yes, alcohol does make you feel drowsy and tends to black some people out, but it doesn’t give you the quality of sleep you need. If you somehow manage to sleep by the use of alcohol, you will wake up the next day, feeling annoyed, hungover and irritated. A hangover can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and an overall bad mood.
Using A Mouthpiece Can Help
A mouthpiece is a contraption, which helps to keep your mouth open. You can use it in sleep apnea, but it has some complications as well. You need to be extremely careful so that the mouthpiece doesn’t choke you or block the passage of air. This is the reason why special instruments and pipes are used for sleep apnea rather than a mouthpiece. You should use a mouthpiece only when a sleep apnea doctor advises you to do so, other than that, don’t use it.