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  • Foundation for Airway Health

Airway Sleep Breathing Problems: How They Differ in Men, Women, and Children

Updated: Jan 26




Airway sleep breathing (ASB) problems affect millions worldwide, significantly impacting their quality of life. However, these disorders present differently in men, women, and children. ASB problems, like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and snoring, occur when there is a partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep. These issues often lead to disrupted sleep patterns and can result in severe health complications if left untreated.

Continue reading to learn more about the unique manifestations of sleep-related breathing issues across genders and age groups. Understanding the unique characteristics of these issues can help healthcare providers develop better diagnostic tools and treatment plans to help patients achieve better sleep quality and overall well-being.


ASB Problems in Men

Men are more likely to experience ASB problems than women, with OSA being the most common disorder. In men, these issues often present with the following symptoms:

● Loud, chronic snoring

● Gasping or choking during sleep

● Daytime sleepiness

● Irritability and mood changes

● Reduced libido


ASB Problems in Women

Although women are less likely to develop ASB problems, they still face unique challenges in diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms in women can be more subtle and often include:

● Mild snoring

● Insomnia

● Fatigue

● Morning headaches

● Depression and anxiety


ASB Problems in Children

Sleep-disordered breathing can also affect children, with symptoms often manifesting differently than in adults. Common signs in children include:

● Snoring

● Mouth breathing

● Restless sleep

● Nightmares or night sweats

● Daytime behavioral issues


ASB problems can affect men, women, and children differently, presenting unique diagnostic and treatment challenges. By understanding these differences, healthcare providers can develop better tools and treatment plans to help their patients achieve better sleep quality and overall health.


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