Women Need Their Sleep Apnea Diagnosed Too, Particularly Since OSA’s Impacts Can Be Worse for Us in Some Ways
A sleep physician comes to appreciate that men and women often differ in their perceptions of CPAP therapy.
“Doc, there’s no way I’m going to wear that thing.”
“You’re kidding, right? Isn’t CPAP for old, fat men?
And so begins another Monday in sleep clinic. I get it. CPAP isn’t sexy—but neither is untreated sleep apnea. OSA prevalence continues to increase with an estimated prevalence of one billion people worldwide. We are learning more about OSA and other comorbid disease. We are beginning to understand that OSA is a chronic medical disorder that requires chronic treatment.
I agree: CPAP isn’t perfect. But we still need to treat obstructive sleep apnea when it meets criteria for treatment. As women, we (in general) seem to fight the idea of having OSA more than our husbands do. We have a lot of negative associations with both the idea of having sleep apnea and with CPAP therapy in general. We often take it to mean that we are “too fat” or “too old.” The reality is that…