Did you know that Obstructive Sleep Apnea affects roughly 22 million Americans? Perhaps more alarming, as many as 80% of people with this condition have not received a diagnosis (or treatment!). Unfortunately, widespread misinformation about this sleeping disorder is partly to blame. Therefore, a dentist is debunking five common myths about sleep apnea in Spring Lake.
#1. Sleep Apnea Is Just Snoring
Although snoring is a symptom of this common sleeping disorder, sleep apnea is more than just that. In fact, many people who “just snore” aren’t aware that they do – until their partner or roommate brings it to their attention. On the other hand, patients with sleep apnea will also wake up gasping during the night, experience chronic daytime drowsiness, or have morning headaches.
#2. Sleep Apnea Isn’t a Big Deal
If you think that sleep apnea doesn’t require treatment, think again! In addition to chronic fatigue and restless sleep, patients with this condition are also at risk for depression, high blood pressure, memory problems, and cardiac issues (to name a few). Therefore, if you think you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to speak with a professional.
#3. Only Older People Get It
Perhaps one of the most common myths is that sleep apnea only occurs in adults and seniors. However, this sleeping disorder can affect children as well. In fact, the American Family Physician reported that up to 10% of children have sleep apnea. So, if your child snores, is constantly tired, or exhibits any other symptoms associated with this condition, seek treatment right away.
#4. Alcohol Will Help You Sleep
A nightcap before bed may make you feel drowsy, but multiple studies have found that alcohol is detrimental to sleep. Indulging in a glass before bed can inhibit REM sleep – the most important restorative stage! Plus, it can relax the muscles in the soft pallet, leading to further complications.
#5. Sleep Apnea Will Go Away On Its Own
If you are dreading a sleeping appliance, you may be inclined to cross your fingers and hope sleep apnea goes away on its own. However, ignoring the warning signs can affect more than just your sleep. So, make sure to seek treatment when the first symptoms arise.
Have any of the above myths about sleep apnea kept you or a loved one from seeking treatment? If so, there is no time like the present to talk to your dentist about getting the long-lasting relief you deserve.
About the Author
Dr. Edward J. Dooley attended the College of the Holy Cross before pursuing his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine. For over 30 years, he has helped patients achieve optimal oral health, gorgeous smiles, and a restful night’s sleep with personalized sleep apnea treatments. So, if you’re ready to treat the root of your chronic snoring, daytime fatigue, and other symptoms stemming from your sleeping disorder, visit his website or give him a call at 732-974-2288.