There are many myths associated with obstructive sleep apnea, some of the which are true but most of which are not. It’s important to separate fact from fiction in order to recognize symptoms that may lead to sleep apnea. The sooner you recognize them, the sooner you can get treatment and lower your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.

Myth number one: Sleep apnea only affects you if you’re an overweight male.

Fact: Obstructive sleep apnea affects all ages, both male and female. While it’s true that the condition affects mostly overweight males, it affects others as well. Even as many as four percent of children experience sleep apnea.

Myth number two: Sleep apnea is relatively harmless.

Fact: Sleep apnea can actually be fatal if untreated. The effects that it has include high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke and daytime drowsiness that can result in car accidents or worsened work performance. Sleep apnea can considerably disrupt and shorten one’s life.

Myth number three: Sleep apnea isn’t that common.

Fact: According to Sleepapnea.org, it’s estimated that 22 million Americans suffer with the disorder, “with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.”

Myth number four: Snoring and sleep apnea are the same thing.

Fact: Snoring is one possible symptom of sleep apnea, but sleep apnea encompasses a multitude of other symptoms and complications that go far beyond a simple snore. Many people who have sleep apnea do develop a mild to severe snore, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. The two are connected, but they are totally different things.

Myth number five: It’s hard to get treated for sleep apnea.

Fact: TMJ and Sleep Solutions of Alabama makes it easy to get treated for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. We provide sleep apnea oral devices. Any severe cases may be referred to a physician to obtain a CPAP.