Myths About Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

depressionSnoring, often considered harmless, can be a cause and sign of obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a common problem often affecting more than 12 million US adults according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Sleep apnoea increases the risk of heart disease and hypertension.

Most myths about sleep apnoea have been studied and most have proven true. Here are some common myths which have become proven facts about sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea may increase the risk of depression. It is indeed true that untreated sleep apnoea takes a toll on mood. Women were more likely than men to feel hopeless and show other classical signs of clinical depression. The study released by the CDC shows that men with sleep apnoea were more than twice as likely and women were five times as likely to have symptoms of hopelessness, loss of interest in regular activities and other signs of clinical depression. Treatment of sleep apnoea eases depression. Snoring is not associated with depression.

Sleep apnoea diminishes libido. Studies have proven that sleep apnoea negatively affects sexual function in both men and women. In men, it has been linked to erectile dysfunction. In women, sexual drive is affect and lowered. Treatment of sleep apnoea especially with CPAP therapy improves sexual drive and related problems.

Sleep apnoea increases the risk of heart attack owing to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Charles Czeisler, M.D., Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School says that over time even daytime blood pressure increases. Additional research has found sleep apnoea patients were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or even die of heart problems over a four to five year period.

Sleep apnoea has been associated with a higher risk of cancer development and the higher likelihood of death from cancer. In fact, shallow and disordered breathing increases the likelihood of dying from cancer five-fold. Sleep apnoea patients have a 65 percent of developing any kind of cancer.

Sleep apnoea is a risk factor for diabetes. Growing evidence from research has continually shown the link between sleep apnoea and diabetes. Moderate and severe sleep apnoea has been shown to be an independent predictor of type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnoea patients have double the risk of suffering from diabetes.

Sleep apnoea predisposes patients to accident risk. Sleepiness during the day affects drivers and has been a cause of many motor accidents. A study evaluating the severity of car crashes among sleep apnoea patients increased the risk of a car crash two fold.

Sleep apnoea may increase the risk of stroke. Researchers have studied the link between sleep apnoea and the risk of stroke to better understand the relationship. More studies have been recommended to pinpoint the link between disordered breathing and the risk for stroke.

Finally, sleep apnoea is linked to pregnancy complications. Recent studies have shown that sleep apnoea is associated with unique complications for pregnant women. The most prominent and threatening problem associated with sleep apnoea in pregnancy is that of high blood pressure and complications necessitating birth via C-section.

Image  Courtesy of David Castilo Dominici /

Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.