According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) every day. Sleep apnea is one of the most underdiagnosed disorders today, meaning those numbers could be much higher. Many myths surround this disorder leaving people unaware of the true symptoms and dangers of sleep apnea. It’s important to know the myths from the facts, as it might be you who suffers from this serious disease. Let’s take a look a look at a few myths surrounding sleep apnea.
Myth # 1: Snoring is not dangerous
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that results in the temporary slowing or stopping of breathing while you sleep. Snoring is among the most common symptoms of OSA. In most cases, when you experience an apnea event your body will jolt you awake with a loud snort or gasping sound to shock you back into breathing. These events happen for the same reason snoring occurs; your airway is obstructed, thereby limiting oxygen from reaching the brain. It is also important to note that not all people who snore suffer from OSA. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to very dangerous and life threatening health risks.
Myth # 2: Only overweight, middle-aged men have sleep apnea
This myth could not be less true. Sleep apnea affects both men, women and even children of all ages and sizes. However, women are 8 times less likely to be diagnosed than men. Women who complain of low energy or fatigue are more likely to be prescribed prescription medication for depression. On the contrary, men are often sent for a sleep study for evaluation. If you are experiencing snoring, daytime fatigue, lack of energy, morning headaches or unrefreshing sleep, you should ask your doctor about getting a sleep study to rule out OSA.
Myth # 3: CPAP is the only treatment for sleep apnea
While CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, it may not be the right solution for you. The use of a mask or nasal pillows at night can be uncomfortable and many will abandon CPAP treatment due claustrophobia, loud machine noise, bed partner complaints, anxiety, or travel inconvenience. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) also recommends treating obstructive sleep apnea using a dental device. This treatment is known as Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). Oral Appliance Therapy is an effective treatment option for both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It fits like an athletic mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. The oral appliance works by guiding the jaw in a forward position to help maintain the airway open, essentially eliminating snoring and airway obstructions. Research shows that more than 90% of patients report compliance using an oral appliance. Drs. Jason Hui and Alan McDavid have the passion and experience to customize the ideal dental device for you! Contact us today at 469-712-6865 to find out how you can start treatment today!