When we think of sleep apnea we often imagine an over weight middle-aged man snoring away. And while it’s true that sleep apnea is more common in men then women, a study from the UCLA school of nursing has shown that nearly one in five women suffer from sleep apnea. Even more alarming 90 percent of women who have it are undiagnosed.
The misconception that it’s a male condition is just one reason so many women go undiagnosed. Some women may perceive there is a stigma about it. They may feel more embarrassed about confronting that they snore. But the health effects of sleep apnea are far too serious to ignore.
Sleep apnea prevents sufferers from quality sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses blocking your airway. Snoring and gasping are common symptoms. When the airway is blocked oxygen is not getting to your brain, heart or other organs and muscles that thrive on oxygen. This can result in fatigue and daytime lethargy. It can also lead to more serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cognitive behavioral disorders and cancer.
I recently became a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). The AADSM is the foremost authority on on the use of oral appliance therapy to treat sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). As a result of my experience with dental appliances and ongoing work with patients with obstructive sleep apnea I have been designated an AADSM Qualified Dentist.
If you’re a woman who may be suffering from sleep apnea or know someone who is call for an evaluation today.