Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a widespread sleep disease affecting millions of individuals worldwide. Despite its widespread prevalence, there are numerous myths and misconceptions about this disorder. This article will look at some of the most frequent myths and facts concerning obstructive sleep apnoea.
Myth: Snoring is completely harmless, and everyone does it
While snoring is frequent, it can also be an indication of a more serious illness, such as OSA. When the airway becomes partially or totally closed during sleep, breathing stops or becomes shallow. This causes snoring, gasping, or choking sounds while sleeping. If mistreated, OSA can cause a variety of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Myth: Only obese people get OSA
Fact: While being overweight increases the likelihood of getting OSA, it is not the only risk factor. Other variables that can contribute to the development of OSA include a family history of the disorder, smoking, alcohol usage, and having a wide neck circumference. People with specific medical disorders, such as hypothyroidism, acromegaly, or Down syndrome, may also be at a higher risk of getting OSA.
Myth: OSA exclusively affects the elderly
While older folks are more likely to suffer from OSA, it can affect people of all ages, including children. OSA is frequently caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids in children, and symptoms might include snoring, restless sleep, bedwetting, and difficulties concentrating throughout the day. If left untreated, OSA in children can result in poor growth and development, behavioural disorders, and other health problems.
Myth: OSA is simply a sleeping disorder
Fact: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) can have a major influence on a person’s overall health and quality of life. OSA can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, in addition to producing daytime weariness and sleepiness. It can also cause cognitive impairment, mood issues, and worse work or school productivity.
Myth: OSA is incurable
Fact: OSA is a curable condition with a variety of successful treatment options. The most common treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which entails sleeping with a mask over one’s nose and/or mouth. The mask is linked to a machine that provides a steady stream of air, which aids in keeping the airway open. Oral appliances, which are custom-made devices that help maintain the airway open, and surgery, which may be needed in some circumstances, are further therapeutic possibilities.
Myth: CPAP therapy is painful and difficult to use
While some people may find CPAP therapy uncomfortable or inconvenient at first, most people eventually adjust to it. There are numerous CPAP machines and masks available, and healthcare experts can assist patients in selecting a mask that is both comfortable and effective. Furthermore, many new CPAP devices are tiny, lightweight, and silent, making them more convenient to use and travel.
Myth: OSA is not a serious disease
Fact: If untreated, OSA can have major health repercussions. OSA can cause cognitive impairment, mood issues, and lower productivity at work or school, in addition to raising the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. OSA can be life-threatening in severe situations.
Myth: OSA may be cured solely through lifestyle changes
Fact: While lifestyle modifications including losing weight, quitting smoking, and drinking less alcohol can help lower the severity of OSA, they are not a cure. OSA is a medical problem that necessitates medical attention.