What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a condition that affects a large portion of the adult population worldwide. The concern arises from the fact that many misconceptions are linked to the disorder. Estimates show that 1 in 5 adults in alone suffer from sleep apnea and are not aware that they are affected by it. It is considered harmless, and the dangers associated with it are not well known by the masses. The risks associated with the disorder are highly dangerous if left undiagnosed and untreated.
What are some of the general misconceptions related to Sleep Apnea?
- Snoring is nothing to worry about – Snoring is widely regarded as a key factor in identifying Sleep Apnea. Chronic Snoring is the most commonly diagnosed symptom indicating Obstructive Sleep Apnea and if left undetected can lead to a reduction of life expectancy.
- Sleep Apnea only affects men – People assume that snoring is normal for the average adult male and thereby believe that Sleep Apnea only affects men. The truth is that Sleep Apnea is not restricted to any one age group or gender. Sleep apnea also affects weight gain if undiagnosed, those with obesity have a higher risk of developing Sleep Apnea and this, in turn, can lead to a worsening of the Apnea. Those within a healthy weight bracket are not risk-free. Individuals with healthy weight have also been diagnosed.
- Sleep Apnea is nothing to worry about – Untreated Sleep Apnea can pose a myriad of health risks, ranging from heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.
- Sleep Diagnosis can only be diagnosed in a lab – A common misconception is that sleep apnea can only be diagnosed in a laboratory. Leading to apprehension among people and often leads to them avoiding even getting a diagnosis. The alternative that provides for a comfortable diagnosis is home sleep testing. There is no reduction in the efficiency of the test, and it can be conducted in the comfort of your bedroom.
- I do not have sleep apnea because I do not snore – The belief that, only people who snore can be affected by sleep apnea is a myth. Snoring is only one of the possible signs that a person has OSA. Daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, weight gain or being overweight, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, waking up with a headache, sore throat or a dry mouth are things to look out for if you suspect you have OSA
If you have noticed that you have some of these symptoms or someone you know has these symptoms, it is advisable you visit a sleep lab or access a home sleep test. Detecting, diagnosing and treating, Obstructive Sleep Apnea early will lead to an increase in your mood and energy levels, ultimately to a better quality of life.