Sleep apnea is a disorder, which is observed more than thought in society, with lots of wrongs we think right. Here is the information that we think right and that shows how important is it indeed:
Sleep apnea is just snoring.
Wrong. Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea. But, there is a big difference between them. Breathing stops 400 times during the night in people with sleep apnea. This lasts 10-30 seconds and generally ends by rebreathing with snoring. These interruptions in breath spoil sleeping cycle, hinder going into dead sleep phase and causes people to feel tired during the day.
Sleep apnea is not an important problem.
Wrong. Sleep apnea is a very dangerous disorder and if not treated, it causes traffic accidents or job accidents causing from day long attention deficit.
Sleep apnea hinders breathing by blocking respiratory track.
Right. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. It is seen when tongue, tonsils and other soft tissues block the respiratory track. Enough air cannot be taken in breathing. Central sleep apnea is less common and seen when brain does not send signals for respiration.
Sleep apnea affects only old people.
Wrong. It is known that only in the US, there are 18 million people with sleep apnea. Although the risk is higher over 40, it can affect any person. The biggest risk factor is being obese or overweight. Disorder tend to be genetic.
Alcohol helps sleeping.
Wrong. It may cause sleeping especially in excessive amounts but this will not be a quality sleep that you normally need. Alcohol also relaxes muscles behind throat. In that way, respiration block happens more easily in those with sleep apnea. The impact of sleeping is the same.
Sleep apnea is not seen in children.
Wrong. Obstructive sleep apnea is common among children of 1-10, too. Symptoms are light in most cases. They diminish as child grows up. Serious behavioristic or medical problems may occur in some children, though.
Losing weight helps sleep apnea.
Right. Even losing a small amount of weight affects sleep apnea in a very positive way. Quitting smoking would also be useful. Even the most serious sleep apnea gets better in the first month after obesity surgery.
Sleeping on side is helpful for sleep apnea.
Right. Soft tissues go back because of gravity when lied back and block respiration. Sleeping on side and special pillows may work.
Using mouthpiece may work in sleep apnea.
Right. A mouthpiece applied by an orthodontist or a dentist may make sleep apnea slightly better. Device should be produced personally. It sets the position of mandibular and tongue, it is worn during the sleep and it helps to keep respiratory system open.
CPAP device is an effective treatment.
Right. This device constantly gives positive pressured air to respiratory track. Flow rate is adjustable. It is the most common treatment for adults with light or serious sleep apnea.
The most exact solution to apnea is surgery.
Wrong. Surgery may be necessary for some patients such as children with big tonsils. Surgery may help in some adults who have ptotic velum. However, surgery is not a good option for everyone.