Sleep apnea facts and myths explained by Willoughby Hills Dentist, who is highly qualified in Dental Sleep Medicine
Chances are, you’ve heard of the term “sleep apnea” in relation to snoring, and you may even be concerned that you have it. With a lot of information on the internet about sleep apnea, it can be hard to sort through it all to determine what is accurate and what you really need to know. Here, Dr. Michael Stern, who is highly qualified in Dental Sleep Medicine, of Snoring and CPAP Solutions in Willoughby Hills, OH, separates the facts from the myths.
Sleep apnea is associated with snoring
Fact. While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, it is true that there is a strong association between the two conditions. The most important takeaway when it comes to sleep apnea and snoring is that they are not the same thing, and sleep apnea presents many dangers to your health that simple snoring does not. With each sleep apnea episode, you temporarily stop breathing and your brain and organs do not receive vital oxygen, which can take an enormous toll on your health in the long-term.
Only people who are older get sleep apnea
Myth. People of any age can suffer from sleep apnea – in fact, it is estimated that over 18 million people in the United States have it. While it is more common after the age of 40, the condition can start at any age, particularly if you are:
- Latino or African American
- Have diabetes
- Have a family member with the condition
You must use a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea
Myth. Oral appliance therapy is a highly effective alternative to CPAP machines, and many patients find this type of treatment much more comfortable and easier to comply with. It simply consists of using an oral appliance that looks like a sports mouthguard while you sleep. The appliance positions your jaw in a slightly forward position while you sleep, which prevents your tissues from collapsing inwards and keeps your airway open throughout the night.