Sleep apnea has traditionally thought of as being a "man's disorder." Bradenton Cardiology Center and Daytime's resident doctor, Srini Iyengar is here to tell us sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder among women as well.
Sleep Apnea happens when breathing is interrupted during sleep because of the closing of the upper airway. These pauses in breathing can occur anywhere from a few times a night to hundreds of times in the course of a sleep period. People who suffer from sleep apnea often snore and frequently experience daytime sleepiness.
Researchers in Sweden investigated the frequency of sleep apnea among 400 women between the ages of 20-70. They found rates of sleep apnea among women to be substantially higher than they expected:
· 50% of women in the study were found to have some degree of sleep apnea
· 20% were found to have moderate sleep apnea
· 6% were experiencing sleep apnea that qualified as severe
Usually patients with this condition are in denial. The best way to know for sure if you have sleep apnea is to have a medical professional perform a sleep study and monitor your breathing during sleep.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.
Even after this study, generally sleep apnea is still seen more frequently among men than among women, but if you are not sure-get checked out.
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