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Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea for Women

I think my journey with sleep apnea started as a child. I wasn't diagnosed until the age of 30. I think this is because my primary symptoms were anxiety and depression. I was tired too but when I went to the doctor I mainly complained of anxiety not daytime sleepiness. Can anyone else relate to this? I think a lot of people go undiagnosed because of similar symptoms.

  1. I think mine started as a child too. I've always had sleep issues with insomnia and for the longest would run on 3-5 hours of sleep. I got really bad headaches and they just attributed to hormones as a teenager then eventually I made it a specialist who doubted I had it but wanted to rule it out as a contributing factor to my headaches. I was 21 or 22 when they diagnosed me but I've years of on and off again with the CPAP.

    1. I'm so glad you got your diagnosis in the end. It shouldn't be so hard for women to get this diagnosis!

  2. I`ve been living with this diagnosis for half my life too. At first I was told that it was due to psychosomatics. I'm not claiming that it doesn't exist, but specifically about my case I didn't believe in it. My search for a normal clinic for treatment was long unsuccessful, I was mostly pleased with https://www.cameronmch.com/services/respiratory-therapy/ where I`m being treated and at the moment. I have progress, so I advise everyone not to despair and to look for reliable specialists who won`t blame everything on your nerves. If a doc says you're too anxious, he's obviously not the best qualified.

    1. I'm happy to hear that you've noticed some progress, ; thank you for sharing this with us, and being a part of our community. 🙂 Cheers, — Matt G. (sleepapnea.sleep-disorders.net) Team Member

  3. I agree; I have struggled with sleep my whole life and despite even directly complaining about sleep, with my anxiety and depression second, most doctors I've encountered hand-waved any concern as me "just being dramatic and young and exaggerating -- and to stop willfully staying up so late." They refused to look into these matters on the basis of my age, and I went undiagnosed and without help until, well, I was almost 30.

    1. I would say what Doctors knew and understood about sleep disorders even 10 years ago has drastically improved. I still think women are under diagnosed but it is getting a bit better. Warmly, Lisa (SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net Team Member and Advocate)

    2. We are twins! It took me until the age of 30 to get my diagnosis too. Your story is so common and you're not alone! All the best, Emma (SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net Team Member and Advocate)

  4. Me too, I am on my second mask. Started with the one under the nose and over the mouth, now have the one just for the nose and to the top of my mouth. I think I would like to get the one just for the nose, but I think I mouth breathe during the night, so not sure what to do. I have heard about the tape for the mouth, but not sure I can do that or not.

    1. I thought I would share with you an article on mouth taping https://sleepapnea.sleep-disorders.net/clinical/mouth-taping. Have you tried adjusting your heated humidifier? That can help with some people that mouth breathe. A chin strap is something else people find helpful. It is a learned behavior; you may want to give yourself a bit more time and see if it goes away over time. It did for me. Warmly, Lisa (SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net Team Member and Advocate)

    2. I definitely had to go through a process to switch from mouth breathing to nose breathing. If you are interested in mouth taping but don't know if you can breathe properly through your nose, it can't hurt to have an evaluation with an ENT doctor. I used mouth tape during the day until I was comfortable nasal breathing all the time before using it at night. Myotape can be helpful for cpap users because it goes around the lips and not over them. All the best! Emma (SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net Team Member and Advocate)

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