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5 Surprising Facts About Sleep Apnea

June 28, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepbetterteam @ 2:06 am

Myths & Facts under torn paperSleep apnea is a common condition that causes frequent breathing disruptions while sleeping. Approximately 1 in every 15 Americans has sleep apnea, but there’s a lot of misinformation about the breathing disorder. It involves much more than loud snoring. Don’t place your life on the line believing false information. Here are 5 surprising facts everyone should know about sleep apnea.

1. 80% of Cases Aren’t Diagnosed

Healthcare professionals believe that 80% of sleep apnea cases aren’t diagnosed. Since breathing disruptions occur while you’re sleeping, you may not notice them. Not to mention, sleep apnea can cause many symptoms, which you may not attribute to the disorder, like headaches, irritability, or memory loss. Often, it’s not suspected until a partner or someone in the home mentions their concerns.

2. Snoring Isn’t the Only Symptom

Snoring and sleep apnea go hand in hand because both result from the narrowing of the upper airway. However, snoring is only one of the many symptoms that can occur. It’s not unusual to experience morning headaches, fatigue, or loss of concentration. You may also wake up with a sore or dry throat. 

3. Sleep Apnea Increases Your Risk of Auto Accidents

Every interruption in breathing disrupts your sleep cycle. Over time, this can lead to sleep deprivation, which can significantly affect your mental health and cognitive abilities. Researchers have found a connection between sleep apnea and an increased risk of auto and workplace accidents.

4. Sleep Apnea Can Have Deadly Complications

Sleep apnea affects more than your sleep quality. With no treatment, you can be at risk of potentially life-threatening complications, like cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea can also take a toll on your mental health, increasing your risk of depression, anxiety, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating.

5. There’s an Alternative to a CPAP

Traditionally, a CPAP machine is used to treat sleep apnea, but many patients find it bothersome. If you can’t tolerate a CPAP, you have another option. An oral appliance positions your tongue and jaw comfortably to prevent them from blocking the airway while you’re sleeping. It is proven effective in treating mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea when used consistently.

If you have concerns about potential sleep apnea, it’s time to contact your healthcare professional. After a sleep study to confirm a diagnosis, you’ll be referred to your dentist for treatment. They’ll provide the personalized plan you need to breathe better using an oral appliance.

About Dr. Jay A. Nelson

Dr. Nelson earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania before continuing his education in dental sleep medicine. He is a member of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, the American Board of Sleep & Breathing, and many other professional organizations. He offers the latest solutions to treat sleep apnea. Request an appointment through our website or call (813) 694-1580.

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