Regular breathing usually continues with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea causes the airway to collapse or become blocked during sleep. Patients who are overweight are usually affected, but it can actually happen to anyone. To help you better understand sleep apnea, let’s take a look at some common myths and facts to help you decide if you or a loved one should see Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for a proper opinion as well as possible treatment.
Myth: Sleep apnea is just an impressive word for snoring.
Fact: Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea. But, it also might be an annoying sound that your bed partner makes throughout the night because the muscles in his or her throat relax too much.
Myth: People with sleep apnea know they have it because they’re jerked awake when their breathing stops.
Fact: Most people are unaware they have sleep apnea because they are sleeping when symptoms occur. Many people find out their breathing is affected by another who watches them or hears them while they sleep.
Myth: Sleep apnea is no big deal.
Fact: Sleep apnea actually is chronic and doesn’t allow the body to get the deep sleep it needs to function at its prime during the hours you are awake. If left untreated, it can increase your risk of serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure. It is a chronic condition that requires long-term control.
Myth: Only people who are old or overweight have sleep apnea.
Fact: Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages and sizes. However, people who are overweight may be able to reduce symptoms by losing weight.
Myth: Alcohol is a good remedy.
Fact: Alcohol is not the solution. Instead, alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat, which blocks the airway. Sleeping pills have the same effect.
Effective treatments for sleep apnea might include simple lifestyle changes or oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is worn during sleep and gently pushes the lower jaw outward to create an unobstructed airway. If you suffer from sleep apnea and are ready for a good night’s sleep, contact our office today!