Post Writer Talks About Apnea Diagnosis

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June 15, 2009

A recent article in the Washington Post highlights Post staff writer Valerie Strauss' experience with being diagnosed with sleep apnea. Strauss — "a somewhat trim, 53-year-old woman," according to the article — suspected she had sleep apnea, but wasn't sure until she had an overnight sleep study conducted at the Sleep Disorders Clinic in Chevy Chase, Md. Obstructive sleep apnea can occur in all age groups and both sexes. There are a number of factors that increase risk, including having a small upper airway; being overweight; having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite; a large neck size; smoking and alcohol use; being age 40 or older; and ethnicity (African-Americans, Pacific-Islanders and Hispanics are susceptible). However, if you don't fit these descriptions and you still suspect you have sleep apnea, the first thing to do is see your doctor.