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Sleep Apnea: Myths And Misconceptions

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According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an estimated 25 million adults struggle with sleep apnea. Unfortunately, although sleep apnea is a common disorder, several potentially dangerous myths and misconceptions exist about this sleep-related condition. Here are a few of the many myths associated with sleep apnea you should not believe. 

Everyone Who Has Sleep Apnea Snores

Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. However, just because you snore, it does not mean you have sleep apnea. Conversely, not everyone with sleep apnea will snore. There are different types of sleep apnea, including obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. As the name would suggest, obstructive sleep apnea occurs because of an obstruction or issue that affects breathing at night.

However, central sleep apnea is a type of apnea that occurs when there is an issue with the brain sending signals to the body to breathe steadily during sleep. This is a far less common type of sleep apnea. If you have other symptoms of sleep apnea but do not snore, talk to your doctor about central sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Only Effects Older Adults

If you or your child snores, you might think that you are not at risk of sleep apnea because you are younger. Additionally, many believe that only people who are overweight or obese suffer from sleep apnea. In reality, anyone at any age can suffer from sleep apnea, even young children. Although obesity is associated with sleep apnea, individuals who are healthy weight can also suffer from sleep apnea, and not even realize it.

Using a CPAP Machine Is Uncomfortable

If you have a friend or family member with sleep apnea, they might complain about their CPAP machine. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a device that fits over your mouth or nose and helps gently push air in to help you breathe while you sleep. Older CPAP machines were clunky and awkward, but the technology has come a long way.

Modern CPAP machines are much more comfortable. You and your doctor can work together to find a CPAP machine that not only fits well but also fits your lifestyle.

Sleep Apnea Isn't a Serious Condition

Unfortunately, many people believe that sleep apnea is only an annoyance and cannot cause any harm during waking hours. In reality, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can contribute to many chronic illnesses and can negatively impact your quality of life.

From the idea that sleep apnea isn't dangerous to the notion that this common condition only affects older people, there are many myths about sleep apnea. 

Speak to your dentist to learn more about sleep apnea