Sunday, February 7, 2010

Why are men diagnosed with sleep apnea more than women?

It seems that when you think about who gets sleep apnea the most it is usually men. I know when I went to my many sleep studies there were mostly men there. But I know that women have Obstructive Sleep Apnea also. Is there a difference in women’s sleep apnea versus men’s sleep apnea?

The common causes of sleep apnea are well known: being overweight, having a round face, a narrow airway in the mouth, an enlarged tongue among other things. Don’t women have all those problems the same as men? Of course they do so why do people still consider sleep apnea primarily a man’s problem.

One reason could be that the number of women who have sleep apnea isn’t as great as men are because they don’t seek help or they perceive sleep apnea as problem mostly for men. This would be a dangerous assumption considering the serious risks involved with sleep apnea such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and high blood pressure.

Another reason could be that women might not necessarily want to complain about snoring or they may think that there is restlessness is due to other factors such as illness or stress.

Everyone should be encouraged to seek help if they feel they have any problem dealing with their sleep. An overnight sleep study can easily determine whether one has sleep apnea or not.

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