Hormones Could Affect Sleep Apnea

Hormones Could Affect Sleep Apnea

As women age, their hormone levels can fluctuate quite a bit. The estrogen and progesterone levels we have as teenagers may ebb and flow throughout life until menopause when they can dramatically change. As a result, some women go on specialized therapies such as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. Low hormones can be associated with a long list of medical issues, and now we can add sleep apnea to those issues. A recent study from the University of Bergen, Norway has found that women with higher estrogen and progesterone levels had lower instances of snoring and gasping for air during the night, both common side effects of sleep apnea. So, what does that mean for women with sleep apnea? Well, for starters it could be useful information in helping to reduce the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. If you do suffer from low hormones and have sleep apnea, the two could potentially be related. Unfortunately, while the results of this study have yet to be researched further, it could yield more data in future years after further examination. For now, if you do suffer from snoring or struggling to breathe while you sleep, start at the beginning with a sleep study from a trusted sleep doctor. Once you have a sleep apnea diagnosis, speak with your doctor about your treatment options. Treatment options for sleep apnea will depend on your individual circumstances. For starters, you may be asked to quit smoking or lose weight if these categories apply to you. Next, your doctor may recommend an external method of treatment such as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over the face and a tube that goes into the mouth to force air into the collapsed airway to force the airway open. Unfortunately, many people find this uncomfortable and don’t end up using their CPAP therapy as prescribed. The good news is that Dr. Peterson offers solutions to CPAP that you may not have known about, such as a custom sleep appliance that fits comfortably into the mouth and positions the airway open naturally so that you can breathe while in the reclining position. If you are interested in learning more about custom sleep orthotic appliances from Dr. Peterson, please contact the office for a consultation today!

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