Dr. Mike Westman discusses sleep apnea symptoms in women

Are there unique sleep apnea symptoms in women?

snoring-partner Are sleep apnea symptoms in women different from those symptoms that are typically recorded in men? As is the case with many other diseases, the symptoms may be completely different for women than they are for men. In addition, sleep apnea is sometimes misdiagnosed in women, as many doctors often have a tendency to diagnose their symptoms incorrectly, ranging from problems with anemia to issues with the cardiovascular system.

More subtle

Typical sleep apnea symptoms include waking up tired every day and having a difficult time making it through your day due to extreme fatigue. Of course, snoring is associated with sleep apnea as almost everyone who has the disorder snores rather loudly. However, women may have more subtle symptoms that are much more difficult to accurately diagnose. Moreover, women often have a tendency to shrug off symptoms and think of it as merely being tired or feeling overwhelmed. This often means that there is a much longer time between the onset of symptoms and the decision to seek medical advice.

More emotional

Specific symptoms of sleep apnea in women may include stronger than normal emotions, such as feeling overwhelmed for no reason. Women with sleep apnea do snore loudly and often feel tired during the day, but the symptoms are often misdiagnosed or attributed to trying to fit too many activities into a single day. Women also have a tendency to have a difficult time concentrating on the task at hand or to be slightly out of control of their emotions at certain times.

If this type of behavior is atypical for a certain individual, there should be no hesitation to obtain an evaluation for sleep apnea.

Unique considerations

Women who suffer from sleep apnea may find that their throat is extremely dry when they wake up in the morning or they have a headache upon waking. These are warning signs that something may be wrong. In addition, women who have already gone through menopause are much more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than younger women. Women who are pregnant are also more likely to suffer from the disorder. Furthermore, women who are overweight are often likely to suffer from sleep apnea.

Do you have sleep apnea? Find out

If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, you should not hesitate to be evaluated. It truly can be a life altering diagnosis and it may even save your life. If you’d like a quick test, take my sleep questionnaire and I’ll reply with a free, no obligations, diagnostic recommendation.

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