Is sleep apnea just a “guy thing”?
As reflected in common jokes about snoring, most often sleep apnea is seen as a male issue; in fact, 24 percent of men are thought to have the condition. However, research indicates that 9 percent of women develop sleep apnea. In women, the problem usually begins after menopause when reduced hormone levels make tissue less elastic, allowing the airway to close during sleep. Associated weight gain is also a factor. But sleep apnea has also been diagnosed in children, so attention to their sleep habits and sleep sounds is important for parents. What’s the big deal? Early on, the symptoms of sleep apnea may be tolerated by the one with the condition and may prove only a mild irritation to that person’s sleep partner. However, it doesn’t take long for the symptoms that are the source of material for comedians to create serious health threats. Hypertension is chief among the serious medical conditions linked to sleep apnea. Cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency and