Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Dr. John Fleetham, MD, discusses symptoms of sleep apnea.

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Dr. John Fleetham, MD, discusses symptoms of sleep apnea.
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Dr. John Fleetham

Dr. John Fleetham

MD, FRCPC , Asthma Specialist
Respirologist
Vancouver, BC
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. John Fleetham, MD, FRCPC, Respirologist

Duration: 1 minute, 1 second

So sleep apnea is caused by a loss of tone of the muscles at the back of your throat, which happens to everybody normally during sleep.

And that superimposed and that narrow back of the throat is what causes sleep apnea. So this condition occurs more often in men than in women. It’s twice as common in men than in women. It does occur in women, especially after the age of menopause.

The symptoms in men tend to be slightly different than the symptoms in women. It’s very much associated with being overweight. You don’t have to be overweight to have sleep apnea, but it certainly helps.

Anybody who has a narrow back of the throat will tend to get this condition, so if they have nasal obstruction, if they have a receding chin. The best predictor in terms of sleep apnea is neck circumference, so if you have a big neck, then that’s a very high index in terms of suspicion for having sleep apnea.