At Houston Sleep Solutions, we work to eliminate misconceptions about sleep apnea. Let’s discuss three of them.
1. Sleep apnea is caused by being overweight.
Being overweight is a considerable risk factor for developing sleep apnea, but there are many other possible causes, such as diabetes.
Being overweight increases the risk of developing sleep apnea. The fatty tissue that normally deposits in the back of the throat can become obstructive as the muscles relax during sleep, causing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea becomes more prevalent as one’s weight increases. However, even an athlete with low body fat and a large muscular neck can have similar symptoms. And even a thin person can experience sleep apnea if they have a narrowed airway, an abnormality in the jaw bone, or have problems with their tonsils, adenoids, septum, tongue, or palate.
Sleep Apnea is not caused by being overweight. It boosts the risk.
2. If you snore, you have sleep apnea.
Snoring does not mean you have sleep apnea. Although snoring is associated with sleep apnea, snoring is not a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Of chronic snorers, one in three men and approximately one in five women, some degree of obstructive sleep apnea. Therefore not all snorers have sleep apnea. Snoring has been linked to a number of other health conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart failure, and hypertension.
So, no matter what is causing you to snore, consider it a personal health alert. Wake up and contact your doctor because something may not be right. At least, answer a sleep apnea questionnaire or contact a sleep testing facility near you.
3. If you sleep poorly, you can sleep longer and make up for it.
Studies show that oversleeping can be bad for your health.
A 2014 Nurses’ Sleeping Study reported the results of a memory/thinking test given to nurses who slept less than five hours or slept for more than nine hours. Then they compared those results with nurses getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
The results showed that both undersleeping and oversleeping takes a toll on cognitive ability when compared to those receiving eight hours of sleep. Oversleeping might be as dangerous as undersleeping.
Houston Sleep Solutions treats sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is primarily treated with two very different devices worn at night.
1. A CPAP machine uses air pressure through a tube. The patient wears a mask during sleep and air is forced through the obstruction.
2. An oral device used in Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) physically moves the lower jaw forward. This opens the airway causing a free flow of air. There are advantages to using an oral device over CPAP. A dentist who practices sleep medicine provides OAT for sleep apnea. Contact Houston Sleep Solutions to schedule a sleep apnea consultation.
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