As a sleep disorder, many people will have heard of Sleep Apnea by now. With it affecting approximately 100 million individuals worldwide, it is one of the most common pulmonary disorders. However, like with all health conditions, oftentimes both the true facts and the myths can get mixed up leading people to believe what they shouldn’t.
When it comes to sleeping disorders like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) knowing the true facts about how this disorder affects the body is crucial. That’s why we are laying the most common Sleep Apnea myths to rest once and for all. Below, we discuss the top misconceptions that people have about this sleep disorder and the reasons why you should always know the full facts when it comes to OSA.
The truth will always come out. Just like how rumours get started about famous celebrities, the same goes for the medical world in regard to certain conditions. When you don’t know the full details of a health condition, it can be easy to misconstrue myths and misconceptions as facts.
Below, we talk you through the most common myths surrounding Sleep Apnea and why they shouldn’t be believed.
One myth that many individuals believe is the fact that all CPAP equipment is the same. This isn’t the case. The CPAP machine and mask that’s right for one person will not necessarily be right for you. The reason for this is many different factors determine what kind of PAP equipment is suitable for you such as facial shape and the severity of your symptoms.
CPAP machines and masks come in a variety of different styles and sizes.
While snoring is a Sleep Apnea symptom, it isn’t a definitive sign that you have this sleeping disorder. Many people snore on a nightly basis. The act of snoring itself is caused by vibrations of the soft tissues in the throat. However, it is only if this experience along with other OSA signs that it could be an indication that you have Sleep Apnea.
If you snore but wake up feeling rested and having no issues with daytime fatigue or waking up frequently during the night, then you most likely don’t have OSA.
Many individuals believe the misconception that Sleep Apnea only affects men and not women. While men are more often diagnosed with OSA, it doesn’t mean that women can’t be. In fact, many sleep specialists have noted that at least 45% of individuals that come to receive a sleep study are women.
The reason why women often aren’t diagnosed with this sleeping disorder as regularly as men are that they often don’t present with the same symptoms. Some women with Sleep Apnea often note experiencing insomnia and depression more than men. Also, snoring isn’t as common among women. For that reason, many women don’t actually realize that they are suffering from OSA symptoms.
This is a very serious Sleep Apnea myth that needs to be debunked as it can lead to harmful consequences for the person that believes it. This sleeping disorder has the ability to lead to the development of other serious health conditions if left untreated.
As it affects an individual’s ability to breathe correctly during the night, without the right treatment option in place it will lead to ongoing health problems and can be fatal in some cases.
OSA is commonly thought to be directly linked to an individual’s body mass index (BMI). However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sleep Apnea can affect anyone of any size. Although those with Sleep Apnea may experience more fluctuations in weight due to the side effects of sleep deprivation, it is not a cause of OSA.
Sleep Apnea is a very serious condition that should never be taken lightly or ignored. If you suspect that you may be having trouble breathing during sleep then it is worth researching your symptoms further.
When left untreated, this sleep disorder can lead to persistent fatigue, memory retention problems, loss of concentration and hypertension. If you wake up feeling groggy every morning or notice that your partner jerks awake a lot in their sleep, take action as soon as possible. Getting the necessary tests with your physician and sleep specialist will help get you on the road to treatment and ultimately, will improve your overall health.
The first step to getting diagnosed is talking about your suspicions with your physician or a sleep specialist. During your visit, they will ask questions regarding your medical history to determine whether you would be a good candidate for a sleep study test.
A sleep study test, also known as a polysomnogram, is a multiple-component test that transmits and records physical activities while you sleep. This test can be carried out either in a sleep clinic or at home. The sleep study monitors how many apneic events you have while you sleep and monitors your lung function. The recordings that are taken are then reviewed by a sleep specialist to determine what kind of sleep disorder you have. Upon seeing your results, your sleep specialist will have a discussion with you and prescribe you with a treatment plan.
If Sleep Apnea is confirmed, your sleep specialist will begin you on PAP therapy. This refers to positive airway pressure. Depending on the severity and type of OSA you have, you may be required to purchase a CPAP, BiPAP or APAP machine. Your sleep specialist will walk you through your prescription and discuss any questions that you have.
Whether you have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder or suspect that you may suffer from one, it is essential that you understand the disorder fully and not fall victim to any myths and misconceptions that are floating around the Internet.
If you have any questions, it is best to speak directly with your physician or sleep specialist to get the truth. Having Sleep Apnea is one thing and understanding it fully is another. But once you do, you can hugely improve your commitment to treatment, therefore, improving your ability to sleep soundly at night.
Need help purchasing a PAP machine? We can help. Our experts can guide you through the best machine based on your prescription and talk you through how to find a mask that is right for you. Get in touch with us today and browse our range of PAP equipment.
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