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Awareness is not yet widespread that Sleep Apnea is a disorder that doesn't just touch the lives of overweight, middle-aged men. But Sleep Apnea doesn't discriminate. Take James Simmons. He's 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds and is only 23 years old. He's a top prospect to pitch in the Major Leagues for the Oakland A's, and can throw a 90 mph fastball. The kicker? He has Sleep Apnea. Last season he became so fatigued that the A's flew him into the Bay Area for a sleep study. Simmons was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. Over the winter, he had Sleep Apnea surgery.

"Now I wake up in the morning and I feel like I actually slept," Simmons said. "I notice it more when I'm running and when I work out. I feel like I can get through workouts a lot better."

Although many of us are in fact overweight, male and middle-aged, the stereotype is far too common and blithely bought into by physicians, the media and lay persons alike, much to the disservice of all those who will not be properly diagnosed with Sleep Apnea because they don't fit the stereotype.

So if you find out about any other celebrities who have Sleep Apnea but who don't fit the stereotype, or you yourself don't fit the mold, speak out and let us know. Maybe even post your picture to drive the point home. Together, we can raise awareness of the many different faces of Sleep Apnea.

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Comment by Teresa Greene on May 1, 2009 at 11:34am
I am female who could lose ten pounds but would not be interested in losing more than that. (5'8'' 155) I have been the high impact areobics queen in the past, and have achieved a great deal professionally requiring a tremendous amount of energy and stamina. It would be difficult for anyone to understand the exhaustion. But, like others on here, I am determined to get to the root of this. I have a young daughter and I am not interested in having the damage to my body that can happen if this is ignored.
Comment by Judy on March 31, 2009 at 10:02am
Well, I'm 67 now so in that respect I fit one aspect of the "OSA stereotype". I was first Dx'd in 1996 when I was 54. However, I'm still 5'4" and until this past month when I hit 127 lbs, I've weighed between 110 lbs and 115 lbs since I was 13 except during pregnancies (and walked out of the hospital each time between 110-115 lbs). I had a very physical job and could lift and throw heavy objects as well as any man in our crew. I've since retired.
Comment by Tammy Hopkins on March 31, 2009 at 8:14am
I also don't fit the mold. I am a 40 year old woman who is 5'6" and 146lbs., stays active raising my 3 boys, and has a moderate case of sleep apnea. I had 2 sleep studies done. My index for the study done 3/08 was 2.7 which shows basically no apnea; while my study done a few weeks ago shows an index of 15. What happened over the past year. I refuse to "just start treatment", until I find out what the possible causes are. I am going to see an ENT and my neurologist in the next week. I also am going to see a doctor who specializes in hormonal situations. I don't believe in just treating the symptoms. I need to go a little deeper and know what the possible causes might be. Maybe lifestyle changes, surgery or supplements may help the root of the problem.
Comment by Banyon on February 27, 2009 at 7:23pm
Count me as BMI 23, very active and severe obstructive sleep apnea.
Comment by Mary on February 26, 2009 at 3:04pm
I don't fit the mold. I'm female, not overweight, tall and lanky.
Comment by Steven Y. Park, MD on February 25, 2009 at 2:31pm
It's been shown that even young thin women that don't snore can have significant sleep apnea. One of the highest AHIs that I've ever seen in my practice was in a young thin, petite woman (who snored loudly), whose AHI was 116!
Comment by Mike on February 24, 2009 at 8:21pm
here's a picture of me not fitting the mold but still with a raging case of obstructed sleep apnea

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