Sleep apnea is widely know as the condition that keeps you from getting truly restful sleep throughout the night, but few are sure about the details. The result is a mixture of fact and myth that leads to a lot of misinformation about sleep apnea and what it does or who it affects. The best way to combat misinformation is with the facts, so here’s the real deal behind sleep apnea and why many assumptions are mistaken.
1. There are Different Kinds of Sleep Apnea:
Contrary to common assumption, there is more than one type of sleep apnea. The kind most people think of is called OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when something – usually soft tissue like the tongue or tonsils – blocks the throat when people are sleeping, causing them to wake up. However, apnea can also be caused by nervous system problems. In this type of apnea, called central sleep apnea, the brain fails to send the proper autonomous breathing signals during sleep.
2. There are Many Different Signs:
Don’t assume that sleep apnea has a few clear indicators, such as frequent snoring. Snoring may or may not be related to sleep apnea at all. Sometimes people wake up and fall asleep again so rapidly it can even be difficult to tell they have apnea by listening to them. Daily weariness is another common sign, but can have many different causes and should not confirm a diagnosis on its own.
3. You May not Know if You Have It:
Because of the many different signs, those suffering from sleep apnea can go long periods without an accurate diagnosis. Sleep apnea is rarely something that people remember struggling with from night to night. Partners are far more likely to notice that something is wrong with your breathing patterns, but professional observation is often key to diagnosing sleep apnea.
4. Old Remedies Can Make Apnea Worse:
If you have trouble sleeping, there are a couple old-fashioned remedies that many will suggest – namely, alcohol and sleeping pills. First, alcohol can actually lead to poor sleep, and sleeping pills are a short-term solution only. But second, sleep apnea is not like insomnia: Self-medicating this way can actually relax your throat even more and lead to more frequent apnea instead of solving the problem.
5. Anyone Can Get Sleep Apnea:
Sleep apnea is often thought of as a disease that affects the old or the overweight. In fact, anyone can get sleep apnea – it has far more to do with the shape of your throat and the way you sleep. In fact, children are one of the largest groups to suffer from sleep apnea. While you may be more likely to develop sleep apnea if you fall in certain demographics, it can affect all kinds of people.
6. Treatment is Annoying and Complicated:
Many envision complex breathing devices when it comes to treating sleep apnea. Actually, there are many different ways to treat sleep apnea and more solutions continue to emerge with further research. From mouthguards and breathing assistance to surgery, a broad number of responses can prove effective. Online supply stores like CPAPMan.com have a variety of different fittings and devices to improve comfort by customizing masks and other types of treatment.