New Treatment for Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Women

When we picture a person suffering from sleep apnea, we are quick to call to mind an image of a heavy set, older man. Sure, men are nearly eight times more likely to develop sleep apnea than women, but neglecting sleep apnea care because you don’t fit the “usual” mold is dangerous. Women, just like men, can suffer from this serious disorder.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common medical problem where snoring, or the sound made when breath passes through a constricted upper airway, is the main symptom. Sleep apnea affects your brain function, hormonal systems, and cardiovascular health. Getting treatment is so important, and you can count on most health care providers treating sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea: Men Versus Women

Along with snoring, symptoms of sleep apnea involve dry mouth and early morning headaches. Restlessness at night and an increase in urination are also common. Countless people suffering from sleep apnea report feeling exhausted all the time, even when they’ve had what they thought was a full night’s rest.

The difference in diagnosing the disorder in women is less often about the difference in symptoms and more frequently about how health care practioners are interpreting them. While depression is a symptom of sleep apnea in both men and women, doctors are much more likely to see depression as a stand alone condition in women than in men. Women are also more likely to report their sleep disturbances and headaches rather than snoring because they tend to snore much quieter than their male counterparts.

A New Take on Sleep Apnea Treatment for Women

The standard treatment for sleep apnea is continued positive airway pressure therapy for both women and men. This therapy is painless, effective, and stops snoring immediately. With a CPAP machine, both men and women are more likely to sleep soundly while preventing secondary illnesses related to sleep apnea such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Discuss with your doctor the type of CPAP device they recommend. If they’re unsure, you can’t go wrong with purchasing a popular machine such as ResMed’s AirCurve 10.

When CPAP therapy first began, the creators of the CPAP masks were primarily focused on treating men with this illness. This made treatment for women less effective because masks for men don’t always fit women correctly.

When you purchase your machine, make sure that you also purchase a mask that fits you just right. Women should pay especially close attention to mask styles because of the difference in facial shape. Some companies even make special masks just for women! You can read more about this mask styles on our blog.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea and that it’s going missed or undiagnosed, talk to a trustworthy team of sleep specialists. Advanced Sleep Therapy is built from dedicated registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians, ensuring that you’ll get the help you deserve and the supplies that you need.