Sleep apnea. It’s a little bit like a monster that creeps into our rooms at night… hides under our bed… and then as soon as we’re asleep, it strikes. The condition is perhaps one of the scariest conditions mostly because it’s so real and common.
So, maybe it’s out of fear, or denial, that people create myths about sleep apnea — and believe them! But debunking these myths is one of the first major steps in getting treatment for the sleep disorder.
Here are 8 of the most common misconceptions about sleep apnea that people believe — but are far from true.
1. Sleep apnea is just snoring
Sleep apnea is not snoring. People with the condition actually stop breathing up to 4-hundred times throughout the night. The pause lasts between 10-and-30 seconds, and it’s usually followed by a loud snort when breathing resumes. Sleep apnea breaks a sleep cycle and leaves people very sleepy throughout the day.
2. Sleep apnea is no big deal
All those breaks in sleep take a toll on your body and mind. When the condition goes untreated, it’s been linked to job-related injuries, car accidents, heart attacks, and strokes.
3. Sleep apnea blocks your breathing
The condition doesn’t actually block your breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your tongue, tonsils, or other tissues in the back of the throat block your airway. When you try to breathe in, the air can’t get through.
Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is less common than OSA. It means the brain doesn’t always signal the body to breathe when it should.
4. Sleep apnea only affects older adults
It’s estimated that more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. It’s more common after age 40, but it can affect people of all ages. The disorder also tends to run in families.
5. Alcohol consumption at night worsens sleep apnea
Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of your throat. That makes it easier for the airway to become blocked in people with sleep apnea. Sleeping pills have the same effect.
6. Children don’t get sleep apnea
OSA is common in children, affecting as many as 1 in 10. In most cases, the symptoms are mild, and the child eventually outgrows it.
7. No sleeping position will help sleep apnea
If you sleep on your back, gravity can pull the tissues in the throat down, where they’re more likely to block your airway. Sleep on your side instead to open your throat. Certain pillows can help keep you on your side.
8. Only surgery can treat sleep apnea
While there are some invasive procedures and face mask devices that may correct sleep apnea, they are not the #1 cures. Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea treatment that doesn’t not rely on a clunky mask over your head to help you rest better. If you have a mild or moderate case of sleep apnea, we may be able to offer advanced therapy in place of CPAP.
Contact us today to find out what TruDenta® therapy system can do for you. FREE consultations are available.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea and pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.