Researchers are continuously discovering new things about sleep apnea. This has helped gather new information about the condition and how to manage and treat it. With such information being out there, people start to talk. It’s always important not to get it twisted as this can hinder efforts made towards treatment. Only 10 percent of sleep apnea patients in the United States are under medication. This leaves 22 million people who are still at risk. It’s partly caused by a lack of information and in some cases, myths. Below are 7 myths about sleep apnea that need to be busted right now.
- If you snore, you have sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is normally characterized by interrupted breathing and snoring during the night. After a night’s sleep, patients may feel fatigued and sleep-deprived during the day. Research has shown that breathing can stop up to 400 times, with pauses lasting between 10 and 30 seconds. These pauses are normally accompanied by a snort once breathing resumes. The exhaustion experienced throughout the day is a result of an interrupted sleep cycle. There are those that snore without feeling exhausted or sleep-deprived during the day. They may only have “simple snoring” and not sleep apnea. It’s always best to consult a doctor to determine whether the type of snoring experienced is a cause for concern.
- Children don’t get sleep apnea
Sleep apnea affects up to 3 percent of all children, with 10-20 percent of those that snore having the condition. Scientists have discovered that all age groups suffer from sleep apnea. When it comes to kids, up to 33 percent of those that are obese suffer from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). This is attributed to the small upper airway which is easier to collapse. Excessive belly fat may also push the lungs, making them smaller for proper breathing. Sleep apnea is not only for older people. It affects all ages.
- If you have sleep apnea, you’ll snore
If you do not snore, it may be difficult to realize that you’re suffering from sleep apnea. Scientists have discovered that up to 20 percent of those affected do not snore. However, they may experience other symptoms such as labored breathing, choking, and gasping for air during the night. One of the most important signs is the “witnessed sleep apnea” where someone sees you struggle to breathe during the night. You may also wake up with a raspy, throat, dry mouth, and a headache. If you have any of these signs, seek medical assistance from a physician.
- Only men get sleep apnea
Sleep apnea affects both men and women. Women are often underdiagnosed because they are more reluctant to come forth about their snoring problem. Also, their partners may fail to notice since snoring in women is normally not as loud as in men. Women may also experience different symptoms such as sleepiness during the day, mood changes, morning headaches, a lack of energy, and insomnia. Those that are already past menopause have higher chances of suffering from the condition.
- It’s harder to sleep while using a CPAP machine
CPAP machines may take a while to get used to, but their primary goal is to help you sleep better. They provide pressurized and sometimes regulated airflow that ensures your respiratory system functions well throughout the night. This ensures that you get a good night’s sleep without having to get up and gasp for air multiple times. Restoring your breathing can be exhausting. CPAP machines ensure that you get enough rest so that you can have enough energy to focus on work and other activities during the day.
- More sleep will help
Many patients think that sleeping a few more hours can help reduce fatigue and help to fight sleep apnea. According to a study done in 2014, sleeping for more than 9 hours a day can be harmful to your health. Sleeping for 5 hours and below has the same effect. It affects your thinking skills, memory, and brain performance. The study also discovered that people who sleep less or more than 7-8 hours a day were mentally older by up to 2 years. When combined with sleep apnea, resulting symptoms may be detrimental to the quality of life lived.
- You don’t have to clean your CPAP machine
Easy CPAP recommends cleaning and disinfecting your CPAP machine regularly. This helps to keep away germs, allergens, mold, and bacteria that may collect within the machine. It also protects you from contracting other diseases. Cleaning your CPAP machine also helps it to last longer and work better. You can do this by placing it in a CPAP sanitizer for 5 minutes. This helps to eliminate up to 99.9% of pathogens. It also ensures that you don’t damage your machine using harsh chemicals and that you get the most out of your treatment.