Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Women

Did you know that sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can happen to both men and women who are overweight? While physical condition and age may increase the likelihood of snoring or sleep apnea, sleep apnea is not discriminatory. Just like men, it also affects women. In fact, for every 3 men diagnosed with sleep apnea there is also a woman who is suffering from the condition. So, if you partner complains that you snore loudly maybe it is time to know about what symptoms to look for. But why are so many women suffering from the condition without even realizing?

Typically, as compared to men sleep apnea symptoms are often subtler and different in women. Knowing these differences can therefore prove to be the difference between asking for help and boosting your health or ignoring the problem because you have missed the discreet warning signs. One way to ensure that any symptoms you may be experiencing is known and thoroughly checked is to have enough knowledge of what they are and how they may present themselves in women.

Under diagnosis and misdiagnosis for women with sleep apnea

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, more than 26% of adults who are between 30 to 70 years of age suffer from sleep apnea. While men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women, there are a lot of women who suffers without knowing. When it comes to talking about their sleep problems, women are more likely to discuss their problems with their care providers. However, because of various factors women with this condition are often diagnosed and treated for other sleep disorders that are typical of sleep apnea patients. Some of the reasons why women are misdiagnosed are:

  • Most women talk about their sleeping problems with general practitioners rather than specialists
  • Women are less likely to talk about chronic or loud snoring
  • Women symptoms are quite different from men’s
  • Women normally report bothersome symptoms that may lead to misdiagnosis
  • Most men are not observant to their partners sleeping habit

Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Women

Some of the symptoms and risks factors of sleep apnea in women include

  • Fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Snoring
  • Frequent visits to the bathroom
  • Lack of energy
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Night sweats
  • Obesity

 

 

Risk Factors

  • As women enters menopause, they are more likely to develop sleep apnea.
  • Women who are between 55 to 70 years old are more likely to have severe sleep apnea.
  • Obese women are 30% more likely to develop the condition
  • Pregnant women have higher risk of developing the condition

Health Risks

While obstructive sleep apnea may be considered as man’s disease, it poses life threatening risks for women as well. This is especially true for women who live with this condition undiagnosed. Apart from issues to do with concentration and daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea in women can cause high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat in addition to other health conditions such as stroke

How to Avoid Being Misdiagnosed

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are several chronic diseases symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as diabetes, depression, anemia, insomnia, hypochondria, and menopausal changes. If you are suffering from sleep apnea then treating these conditions will definitely not help you. The best way to avoid being misdiagnosed is to:

  • Take responsibility of your health
    • IF you think you have the condition, take a brief quiz from the internet or download comprehensive guide on snoring and sleep apnea treatment
  • Book an appointment with specialist
    • A specialist can order a sleep test for you. He/she is also trained to read the results and prescribe the best solution for your condition
  • Explore your treatment options
    • If you are suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea then you need to consider prescription for oral device instead of treatment

What To Do Next

You can check out my other post on how my wife cured her sleep apnea

If you think that you might be suffering from some of these symptoms then it is important to take some proactive measures so as to ensure that you identify possible causes. Since there are many reasons for interrupted sleep, diagnosing sleep apnea in women can be difficult. So make sure you thoroughly go through the process. The best step is, therefore, to complete an online quiz and answer all the questions honestly

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