What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Myths and Facts

There are various kinds of sleep disorders. One of which is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the term for an occurrence when a person sleeps wherein there are pauses in breathing, or infrequent or shallow breathing in sleep. One type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. It happens when there is something blocking or serving as a barrier that prevents oxygen from entering the upper airway. In obstructive sleep apnea, the pauses in breathing are repetitive despite trying to breathe. Decrease in blood oxygen saturation is usually associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

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Myths Facts
If all else fails, undergoing surgery is the best course of action. For example, doctors would have to remove a child’s large tonsils that are blocking the airway. As for adults, their floppy tissues would be shrunk or stiffened. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is the most commonly used treatment for adults suffering from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. What the machine does is blow steady air streams into the airway and adjusting the strength of it to accommodate the opening of the airway while a person is asleep.
Some say that this sleep disorder is rare among children, which is false. It’s actually the opposite; one out of ten kids has obstructive sleep apnea. Drop by a dentist and request that they make you a special mouthpiece/oral appliance that adjusts the positioning of the tongue and lower jaw, giving you temporarily relief by keeping the airway open as you sleep.
Alcohol and sleeping pills do nothing but relax the muscles behind the throat, causing the airway to be blocked easier. Here’s what happens when you sleep on your back: gravity pulls the tissues down your throat and blocks the airways. Try sleeping on your side.
It is also a myth that only the elderly gets sleep apnea. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It becomes more common after you’ve celebrated your 40th birthday. For some reason, losing weight and quitting from smoking helps make things better.
“Sleep apnea is not dangerous.” False. Sleep apnea, when not treated, may lead to damages in body and mind. From that, it can get worse such as, strokes and heart attacks.


Apnea, with a literal translation of “cessation of breath”, reduces vital oxygen flow to important organs and cause unbalanced heart rhythms.

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