If you're feeling tired during the day or keeping your partner awake at night with your snoring, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. This condition causes restricted breathing during sleep, and it might cause you to stop breathing entirely for short periods. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the condition, which may have prevented you from getting the treatment you need. Read on to have these myths cleared up and learn the truth.
5 Misperceptions About Sleep Apnea
1. It Isn't Serious
Unfortunately, this condition can do much more than just make you snore. In the short term, it causes insomnia and daytime drowsiness, which can interfere with your daily tasks. In the long term, sleep apnea increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and heart attacks.
2. Only People Who Are Overweight Have Sleep Apnea
While weight is a risk factor for developing sleep apnea, there are plenty of thin patients who also suffer from the disease. The underlying issue isn't fat—it's weakness in the muscles of your tongue and throat, which can affect anyone.
3. It Only Develops With Age
While sleep apnea is usually associated with adults, as many as one in 10 children could have mild symptoms of the condition. Generally, it will improve as the child gets older.
4. Treatment Isn't Worth It
Many patients are intimidated by the idea of wearing breathing apparatus every night. However, the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is easy to incorporate into your nightly routine. Depending on your individual needs, you may not even need a full mask—sometimes, a lightweight breathing tube is enough.
5. There Is Only One Treatment Option
In many cases, surgical intervention can end sleep apnea symptoms. Your dentist can also provide a mouth guard to wear as you sleep, which will help guide your tongue forward in your mouth to keep your airway open. Your doctor and dentist will work with you to determine which treatments will suit your needs.
Sleep apnea can have a dramatic effect on your life, but with the help of your health care providers, you can manage or eliminate symptoms. If you think you may have this condition, turn to Rajendra Desai, DDS PA, in Columbia, MD. Dr. Desai's practice provides a full range of services, from dental implants to treatments for sleep apnea and TMJ. To schedule an appointment, call (410) 997-7412 or request one online today.