Common Misconceptions About Sleep Apnea
Like many other medical conditions, there are common misconceptions floating around about the causes and treatments for sleep apnea. The information you find online about how to diagnose and treat yourself can be counterproductive since it is very generalized. Each case of sleep apnea is different, so you may only have some of the symptoms you find listed online, or only suffer from them under certain circumstances. For example, some patients display conditions of sleep apnea after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, which can loosen the crucial muscles at the back of the throat.
The best way to get treatment that is effective to your specific condition is to consult with a doctor who can examine the causes for your sleep apnea and how to treat them. Using tests and observation, the doctor can get a better idea of what part of the airway is constricting and why. In some cases, you may have to go to a sleep clinic to be observed as you sleep. Clinical professionals can monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep stage to see exactly when your sleep apnea is occurring and why. A sleep study is not always necessary for a sleep apnea diagnosis so patients shouldn’t be worried about having to participate in one if they don’t want to.
What Misconceptions Exist About Sleep Apnea?
Some of the most commonly held misconceptions about sleep apnea and the treatments offered for this condition include:
Sleep Apnea is Always Curable
In some cases, sleep apnea can be cured through lifestyle changes, surgical intervention or other methods. However, for some patients, sleep apnea is a chronic condition that can’t be cured easily. Online offers of cures that work for anyone are likely to be ineffective or provide only temporary relief from the symptoms. Effective treatment and cures of sleep apnea can only be found through individual testing and diagnosis by a medical professional. In extreme cases, surgery can be performed to fix the airway permanently, but this should be a last resort after every other kind of treatment has failed.
CPAP Machines Are Loud and Annoying
Some of the earliest CPAP machines were known to make a large amount of noise and being disruptive to patients and their spouses. Newer models are much quieter and emit nearly no sound as they work. Most patients report that the noise is not noticeable, or that they grow used to it after a short period of adjustment. A white noise or sleep sound machine can typically cover this noise if you find it too disruptive to your sleep.
Only Male or Overweight Patients Are Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea
While statistics show that mostly male patients are diagnosed with sleep apnea, people of all ages can suffer from this condition. Even children can suffer from sleep apnea and need the help of a CPAP machine to get restful sleep. Women can also suffer from sleep apnea but are less likely to seek diagnosis and treatment than men. Being overweight can contribute to the likelihood of a sleep apnea diagnosis, but this does not mean that you must be overweight or obese to have the disorder.
A CPAP Machine Can’t Work for Active Sleepers
Those who move around a lot as they sleep may think that a CPAP machine is not going to help them because the mask will be hard to keep on. However, with a CPAP machine that is fitted properly to your face, and the addition of a chin strap, the mask is likely to stay in place no matter how much you turn and change positions. No matter how deeply you sleep, the mask can continue to help you breathe regularly and keep your airway open.
CPAP Machines Do Not Need Maintenance
While a CPAP machine does not need a lot of maintenance, it does require some attention. A crucial part of keeping your CPAP machine effective is cleaning it properly on a regular basis. This will stop mold and bacteria from spreading through the unit and into the air you breathe each night. Without proper cleaning, the CPAP machine will grow less effective with each use and can make symptoms worse.
VirtuCLEAN is the easiest way to clean your CPAP machine in the shortest amount of time. The hands-free operation of the CPAP machine cleaner makes it easy for any patient to use on a regular basis. To find out more about the CPAP machine cleaner and how it works, click here.