Timbercrest Dental Center

Sleep Apnea Information and Myths

Dr. John Luther

Dr. John Luther, D.D.S. & Founder

Jun 22, 2015

Sleep Apnea Information
Sleep apnea is a strange condition that affects 18 million Americans. Learn about sleep apnea and the myths that surround this sleeping disorder.

What is Sleep Apnea?
It’s a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age. Green Bay Packers Reggie White’s death is linked to untreated sleep apnea!

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Source: Wikipedia – Sleep Apnea

How is it Diagnosed?
Sleep apnea cannot be diagnosed in a doctor’s office. Typically, a family member or partner will notice the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Symptoms:

  • sleepiness during the day
  • loud snoring
  • shallow breaths during sleep

 

In order to be diagnosed for sleep apnea, you may need to make an appointment at a sleep clinic.

Treatment
There are several treatment options available.

  • losing weight
  • mouthpiece
  • surgery
  • breathing device

 

Sleep Apnea Myths Debunked

1. It’s Not Sleep Apnea if You Don’t Snore
A common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. However, if you don’t snore but have other sleep apnea symptoms you can still have it.

2. Only the Elderly Have Sleep Apnea

It’s a very common myth that only the elderly suffer from sleep apnea. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can affect people at any age. Sleep apnea is more common in people 50 and up. However, people can develop sleep apnea as young as 5.

3. Sleep Apnea Isn’t Dangerous

Unfortunately, sleep apnea can become dangerous. The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep. Continuous interrupted sleep results in exhaustion. Exhaustion can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and other health concerns. It’s important to get your sleep apnea under control.

4. Sleep Apnea is Caused By Obesity

Unfortunately, we can’t completely debunk this myth. There is a connection of obesity and sleep apnea. If a person is obese he or she has an increased risk of developing sleep apnea. After your sleep apnea is diagnosed, your doctor will most likely suggest losing weight to help control your sleep apnea. There is a myth that sleep apnea causes obesity which is another myth we can’t completely debunk either. Untreated sleep apnea causes exhaustion and exhaustion can lead to obesity. If you believe you have sleep apnea, make an appointment to meet with your doctor.

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