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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Myths Debunked

snoring_sleep_apnea_solutions_1 Bell Dental Group | Cincinnati, OH Dentist

Perhaps it’s not uncommon to feel tired during the day. After all, more than one in four Americans say they wake up tired four or more days during the week. But for millions of Americans, chronic fatigue is caused by obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where the sleeper experiences periodic blockages of the airway. This causes them to stop breathing momentarily, and these “episodes” can happen dozens of times a night. Though sleep apnea is relatively common, it’s also potentially dangerous. Obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of serious health complications, like heart failure and stroke, as well as workplace-related and traffic-related injuries.

At Bell Dental Group, we make it easy to get an accurate diagnosis at a sleep study center. Then, we can provide you with a comfortable dental device that alleviates the unpleasant symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, such as:

  • Morning headaches
  • Snoring that disrupts you or your partner’s sleep
  • Abruptly waking up gasping for air
  • Fatigue and irritability during the day
  • ADHD-like symptoms
  • Sore or dry throat upon waking

If you suspect you may be living with obstructive sleep apnea, give us a call at 513-802-9440 to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, read about these sleep apnea myths to better understand this condition.

 

Myth #1: Only Overweight Men Suffer From Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

 

This misconception is rooted in truth but is nonetheless incorrect. Men, as well as overweight individuals, are considered to be more at risk of obstructive sleep apnea. But sleep apnea affects both males and females, as well as people of all sizes and shapes.

There are other factors that increase your risk of obstructive sleep apnea as well. Those include:

  • Being older than 40
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
  • Deviated septum or sinus problems
  • Having large tonsils or a large neck (defined as 17 inches or larger for men and 16 inches or larger for females)
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea

To find out whether you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, call Bell Dental Group. We’ll connect you with a trusted sleep study center, where they’ll conduct the tests necessary for an accurate diagnosis. During these tests, specially trained technicians will monitor your breathing, oxygen levels, and more while you sleep. Then, the data will be analyzed by a sleep specialist.

 

Myth #2: A Bulky Machine Is Required To Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

 

It is true that in the past, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine has been the go-to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. These devices consist of a mask, which is worn under the nose (or over the nose and mouth) while you sleep. The mask connects to a machine that pushes air into the nasal passage while you sleep, preventing the airway from obstruction.

This machine is still used to treat obstructive sleep apnea — particularly complex cases — but from our experience, patients find CPAP machines to be awkward and uncomfortable to sleep in, so they simply don’t wear them. And of course, the treatment can’t be effective if it’s not used as directed.

That’s why we offer dental devices as an alternative to the CPAP machine. Many people prefer them because they’re easy to use, and they’re more comfortable than the CPAP device. These dental devices resemble athletic mouthguards. You just insert it into your mouth right before bed, and the device does all the work for you. It slightly adjusts the position of your jaw to better keep your airway open as you sleep, allowing you to finally get the rest you deserve.

 

Myth #3: Everyone Who Has Sleep Apnea Snores Loudly.

 

Thunderous snoring is often what alerts people to the fact they have obstructive sleep apnea. But not everyone with undiagnosed or unmanaged sleep apnea experiences this symptom.

In fact, many women with obstructive sleep apnea don’t experience this “classic” symptom. Instead, women with unmanaged sleep apnea are more likely to experience symptoms like daytime fatigue, headaches, and irritability. Those symptoms are found in many ailments, so it can often lead to misdiagnoses for women with obstructive sleep apnea.

 

Get The Good Night’s Rest You Deserve

 

If you believe obstructive sleep apnea might be interfering with your day-to-day activities, it’s time to do something about it. And Bell Dental Group in Cincinnati, OH is a great place to start!

Dr. David Bell has received special training in sleep apnea treatment, and we can work with you to help you get the good night’s rest you deserve! Call us at 513-802-9440 to schedule a consultation, or simply fill out our online form.

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