Important Sleep Apnea Facts you need to know

  • Many people have Sleep Apnea and don't know it
  • Sleep Apnea Affects over 18 Million Americans
  • Sleep Apnea can seriously affect your health
  • Sleep Apnea is more than just snoring
  • Sleep Apnea can be treated

Facts and Myths

If I don’t snore then it’s obvious I don’t have sleep apnea

MYTH.  Many people think you can only have it if you snore.  However, a large percentage of patients do not snore.  It’s a common sign but not a requirement of sleep apnea.  In fact, if you used to snore but for some reason stop, it could be a clue to the severity of your sleep apnea.  This is scary because it means your airway is completely closed off.  After this happens it’s impossible clear the airways without treatment.  It’s consider to check for all signs of sleep apnea and even if it’s only a slight suspicion, it’s a good idea to make sure you can have good night’s rest.

I’m a light snorer, I’m not at risk for sleep apnea

MYTH.  Light snoring used to be thought of as more of a quirk.  Nobody thought of it as a sign of much more serious issues.  New studies have shown that the vibrations from snoring may create “nervous lesions” in the soft palate.  They hinder your reflexes of certain tissues and increase the likelihood of collapse.  This is one of the root causes of sleep apnea.  We believe that all snoring is bad and should be considered as such.  The vibration from the snores can cause any present atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery to break off, this is bad because it may increase the likelihood of a further problems such as a heart attack or stroke.  Some studies give evidence that the likelihood of this happening in the middle of the night is more likely than at any other time.

I’m not over weight, I couldn’t possibly have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

MYTH.  The apparent link between obesity and sleep apnea could be why it’s under diagnosed.  Many people think that going in for a sleep apnea test would be admitting they’re fat.  It’s true it increases the risk but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fat.  Many olympic athletes have sleep apnea and have to get it treated.  Many men, women, and children suffer from it and it’s important to try and get the taken care of.  Even a someone as thin as a pencil could have it if they’re born with a a large tongue and may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.  A deviated septum or problems with the sinus could also lead to obstructive sleep apnea.  Basically anyone, no matter their body composition, could have OSA.  This is because there’s many factors that lead to it.  If you think you could possibly have sleep apnea, it’s important to see.  If you’re going to sleep anyway, it’s important to make sure it’s quality.

I just need to lose a little wait, I don’t need a doctor

MYTH. Obstructive sleep apnea patients may find it difficult to lose weight as increased cortisol released by the adrenal cortex during distressed sleep increases blood glucose levels, which in turn is converted to fat. Insulin intolerance can also occur. In addition, an overweight individual who suffers from obstructive sleep apnea will often times report the lack of energy to go out and properly exercise as a result of the over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. If one is 5 pounds overweight and has mild obstructive sleep apnea, it is more likely that his or her obstructive sleep apnea can be handled with losing weight alone than an individual who is 15 pounds or more overweight with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea. And even for the slightly overweight individual, the cortisol factor may make it difficult to lose the weight with diet and exercise. The answer lies in the proper diagnosis so please contact your sleep health professional.  Actually once you get sleep apnea it’s harder to lose weight.  The increased cortisol released during episodes increases blood glucose levels, which will eventually turn into fat.  If allowed to go on you could develop an insulin intolerance.

Drugs and alcohol worsen sleep apnea problems

FACT.  Alcohol and caffeine should not be consumed within a few hours before bed.  Also, drugs including benzodiazepines, opioids and Viagra can increase sleep apnea problems.

 

Children are too young to have sleep apnea

MYTH. Often children will exhibit the same signs of sleep apnea as adult but their parents won’t get them tested because they think children cannot have it.  Actually, children can also suffer it and it’s important to watch the signs with them just as seriously as one would an adult.  However, unlike adults, many children with sleep apnea show the same signs as a child with ADHD and can sometimes be incorrectly diagnosed.  Sleep apnea can be a cause of slowed mental or physical growth among children.  After treatment, many children tend to show better signs of cooperating with other children and making friends.  If sleep apnea continues, the child will not have the proper palate arch formation in their mouth.  Children that have this will tend to have a longer, narrow face.  This is irreversible unless treated early.  Treatment can correct this.  Michael Phelps actually suffered from it as a child.  Phelps also had ADHD and was a mouth breather, after treatment all of these were resolved.  Many children worldwide have sleep apnea and it’s important to treat them for it.

Children cannot be treated with Oral Appliance Therapy

FACT. This will alter the growth of the child so it’s usually not recommended.

Insurance covers oral appliance surgery

FACT. Many insurances, including PPOs and Medicare, do cover a some of the oral appliance therapy under medical equipment. If you would like more information, feel free to contact us at any time.

Sleep apnea is one of only a few diseases that could explain these symtoms

FACT. Because of this, Polysomnography is the only way to be sure for a sleep disorder diagnosis.  Other sleep tests do not test for disorders such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and central sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is the most common out of all of these, so while it can be those others, many times it’s sleep apnea.