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5 Myths About Sleep Apnea

Word of mouth can be a powerful thing. However, when it comes to passing along information that isn't true, it can be frustrating and at times downright dangerous. Sleep apnea is a serious condition and if not diagnosed can lead to a host of problems. One of the reasons Dr. Buck is so passionate about caring for patients with sleep apnea is the many myths that surround the disorder. Here are five myths about sleep apnea you should know about:

1. Snoring is annoying but harmless.

While it’s possible that snoring is not related to sleep apnea for some, it can be a warning sign that something isn’t right. If your snoring, or that of a loved one, is related to sleep apnea, it can be very dangerous. It elevates the risk for:

  • Heart disease, including stroke and heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Car accidents and work-related accidents
  • GERD
  • Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression

2. Only overweight, middle-aged men are at risk for sleep apnea. 

Middle-age men have been the poster children for the disease for many years, but women -- and even children -- are also at risk. The symptoms of sleep apnea vary between men and women, and women are often misdiagnosed with anxiety or depression in lieu of the true problem: sleep apnea. It’s also common for children to suffer from the symptoms of sleep apnea. Many outgrow it, but for some, it can be a problem well into adulthood.

3. There’s no cure for sleep apnea. 

In the past, this has been the case. Doctors have focused on treating the symptoms of sleep apnea rather than curing it. But, Dr. Buck believes a cure is possible with his unique, cutting-edge orthopedic and orthodontic treatment program. The goal is to completely eliminate the need for any treatment devices by the end of the process, so you can sleep soundly and safely.

4. Those weird machines with masks are the only treatment for sleep apnea. 

If ever there was a more hated treatment for sleep apnea than the CPAP machine, we would be truly stunned. Many patients report they are simply unwilling to treat their sleep apnea if these sometimes loud and claustrophobic machines are the only option. Thankfully there are options. Although CPAP machines are the go-to treatment for many doctors, Dr. Buck uses custom-fit oral appliances to treat sleep apnea patients in a silent, comfortable way that delivers big results.

5. If I don’t snore or wake up in the middle of the night, I don’t have it. 

Snoring is only one of many possible symptoms of sleep apnea. It’s one of the most common sleep apnea myths that if you don’t snore you can’t have sleep apnea. It’s simply not true! Symptoms of sleep apnea can vary among patients, especially when it comes to men versus women, but some of the symptoms include:

  • Waking up with a headache, dry mouth or sore throat
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Restless sleep
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Decreased interest in the bedroom
  • Mood swings
  • Nocturia (waking up to use the restroom at night)

If you suspect you or someone you love may have sleep apnea, call our office for more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Buck at 206-316-8286.


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Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

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