Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Women
Surprise! Men and Women Aren’t Alike.
Houston Sleep Solutions in Friendswood and Pearland, Texas can provide you with the accurate diagnosis you’re looking for, but it’s important to note that there are some differences between men’s and women’s sleep apnea. It’s common knowledge that typical symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, obesity, headaches, and large neck size, to name a few. While these symptoms are accurate, they occur more so in males than in females. Men and women are probably more different than ever, so it shouldn’t be a surprise, that sleep apnea symptoms in women are quite different. In fact, the reason why more women aren’t diagnosed with sleep apnea is that women who have sleep apnea will present with symptoms that are not considered classic symptoms. These may include:
- Restlessness in their legs
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Lack of energy
- Dry mouth on awakening
- A sense of being overwhelmed
- High blood pressure that is difficult to control
Women who are experiencing menopause are up to three times more likely to have OSA as those who are not, and a similar risk applies to women who are pregnant or obese. Additionally, hormones and physical differences between women and men can cause subtle differences in the way that sleep apnea shows up in women. All these factors make it clear that women must be considered for sleep apnea treatment differently from men.
Don’t Be Misdiagnosed
There are several diseases that sleep apnea symptoms in women are commonly misdiagnosed as, from anemia, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypochondria, insomnia, and menopausal changes. If you have sleep apnea, treatment for these other conditions will not help you.
The best way to avoid being misdiagnosed is to:
- Be responsible for your own health. If you think you may have sleep apnea, you can take a short test on our website to determine your apnea risk.
- Set an appointment with our sleep physicians. A sleep physician can order a sleep test for you and is trained to accurately read your results and prescribe a solution.
- Explore all treatment options. Although CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are commonly prescribed, if you have mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) now recommends that sleep physicians consider prescription of an oral device, rather than no treatment, for adult patients with OSA who are intolerant of CPAP therapy or prefer alternate therapy.