Sleep disorders can have major effects on a person's life. While these disorders may often be more difficult to diagnose due to the patient being asleep when the symptoms manifest, they can nevertheless pose significant health risks that must be addressed. Sleep apnea is a particularly common sleep disorder that patients will frequently find that they have an inaccurate understanding about.
Myth: Sleep Apnea And Snoring Are The Same Thing
Snoring can be an embarrassing sleep issue to have as it can disrupt your loved one while they are resting. While snoring will usually be one of the more noticeable symptoms of sleep apnea, it is not the same condition. When a person has a snoring problem, the tissue in their throats will vibrate while they sleep, and this will produce the loud sounds.
Sleep apnea occurs when the patient stops breathing for a few seconds. Unfortunately, sleep apnea rarely occurs in single instances, and patients will usually have their sleep disrupted throughout the night by this problem. Additionally, sleep apnea can cause long-term health problems while snoring is generally harmless. Heart failure, stroke and chronic fatigue can all be possible complications for patients that have the misfortune of battling sleep apnea.
Myth: Sleep Apnea Can Not Be Treated
Once a person has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, they might think that their treatment options will be limited or nonexistent. Luckily, there are several ways that a patient can have this problem treated. For example, patients that have obstructive sleep apnea will often have excess tissue in their throats, and these tissues can block the airway. By undergoing a surgical procedure that is designed to reduce this excess tissue, you can help to eliminate or greatly reduce this potentially dangerous sleep disorder. In order to determine the type of sleep apnea that you have, your doctor will need you to undergo a sleep study so that your sleep apnea can be accurately monitored.
Myth: Only Elderly Individuals Will Develop Severe Sleep Apnea
Another assumption that patients will often make about sleep apnea is that this condition is limited to elderly individuals. While it is true that older patients can be at a higher risk of developing this condition, individuals at almost any age may have a risk of this condition. More precisely, those that are obese may be especially prone to this problem as the excess fat tissue in the throat and neck can contribute to blocking the airway. For this reason, you should consider seeking a prompt evaluation if you are waking up in the middle of the night due to your breathing being interrupted.
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