Do Women Get Sleep Apnea Too?

Do Women Get Sleep Apnea Too?

There is a stereotypical image of people who have sleep apnea. Most people picture overweight, middle-aged men with loud snoring that keeps their entire household up. Although some people with sleep apnea may fit this bill, not everyone does. One of the biggest misconceptions about sleep apnea is that it is a man’s disorder. While sleep apnea is more common in men, women can and do also get it. The stereotypical idea of a sleep apnea sufferer leads women to get diagnosed less often, which can put their health at risk.

Signs of Sleep Apnea in Women

Women do not always have the traditional symptoms of sleep apnea. Women are more likely to complain of fatigue, headaches, and restless legs at night than they are to say that their sleep partner is complaining about their snoring.

In reality, not everyone with sleep apnea snores, and of those who do, not everyone has a loud, distinctive snore. Not everyone with sleep apnea is overweight, either. Women who don’t snore and are at a healthy weight may still have the other symptoms of sleep apnea.

Delayed Diagnoses

Part of the reason that women are often diagnosed with sleep apnea later than men, or misdiagnosed with another condition, is because they frequently don’t have the traditional symptoms. Even when they do, assumptions about who gets sleep apnea leads doctors to look at other conditions before they consider sleep apnea as a diagnosis for female patients.

Treatment Options

CPAP therapy works for some women, but many find the masks and the air pressure uncomfortable. Oral appliance therapy, available from your dentist, uses a mouth guard to gently shift the jaw so that it is easier to breath when you sleep.


John Carson, DDS partners with your M.D. to offer sleep apnea treatments in Tucson using oral appliance therapy.  He can also partner with your MD to help you use CPAP machine better if needed. Make an appointment by calling (520) 514-7203.



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