3 Reasons People Won't Get Tested For Sleep ApneaFriday, September 18th, 2015, 8:26 pm
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical problem and, amazingly, the majority of people who suffer from it have not been diagnosed. Most of these people have no clue that they have a sleep disorder, they just know they feel lousy, have gained weight and would really like to have a nap!
There is a group of people who are pretty sure that they have sleep apnea but refuse to be tested. This is similar to the ostrich sticking his head in the sand — what I don’t know can’t hurt me! Just like the ostrich, patients with untreated sleep apnea are subject to the dangers of the disease, whether or not they acknowledge it. So why wouldn’t people get tested for sleep apnea? Here are 3 common reasons:
- I don’t like sleeping in strange places so I’ll never be able to fall asleep during the sleep study and it all will have been a waste of time and money. Even people who think they will never get to sleep because of the sensors, or sleeping in a strange bed, do eventually fall asleep. Home sleep testing is another option for those who can’t face the thought of spending the night in a sleep lab.
- Sleep apnea isn’t really that serious, after all it is only loud snoring. Loud snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea actually stop breathing during sleep because the airway becomes blocked. No air getting into the lungs means no oxygen going into the body which places incredible stress on the heart and circulatory system. When oxygen levels drop far enough the brain will briefly waken the sleeper to begin breathing again. Sleep is fragmented and non-restorative and the patient feels miserable in the morning. The stress to the body leads to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Sleep apnea can be deadly serious.
- I’m not wearing that mask while I sleep! When most people think of treating obstructive sleep apnea they think of a giant CPAP mask linked by tubing to a machine. Treating sleep apnea doesn’t have to be like that! While CPAP is the gold standard for treating sleep breathing disorders, treatment using an oral appliance (also called a mandibular advancement device) is comfortable and simple. No machines, no hoses, just a small mouthpiece that looks similar to an orthodontic retainer.
Find out more about oral appliance therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.