Sleep Apnea in Men:
5 Hidden Health Dangers You Need
to Know About  

By Grace Clark

Sleep Apnea in Men
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder generally associated with men but according to an expert post published by the National Sleep Foundation, the condition affects both genders; expect that more men are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea as compared to women. While men and women experience different symptoms, the health consequences of sleep apnea remain equally serious for both genders. So how is sleep apnea different for men and women? Men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea in comparison to women and so they have their own unique risk factors.  
Here are 5 threats that are slowly strangling every man suffering from sleep apnea:
1. Leads to Depression
Depression is a serious mental condition that often goes undiagnosed in men and remains untreated, adversely impacting your quality of life and leading to serious health consequences. According to a recent Australian study, obstructive sleep apnea is a major risk factor associated with depression in men. This is because obstructive sleep apnea blocks the airways during sleep which lowers the supply of oxygen and disrupts sleep, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. This leaves men four to five times more susceptible to depression.
2. Adversely Affects Your Relationship with Your Partner
Snoring disrupts the sleep your bed partner sleep so that the person who sleeps next to someone who snores also suffers from sleep deprivation. When this nightly disturbance becomes intolerable, most partners choose to sleep in a separate room which eventually leads to a strained relationship and reduced sexual activity. Lack of sleep and separation gradually paves the way for dwindling sexual desires, causing frustration.
3. Lowers Your Testosterone Levels and Leads to Sexual Dysfunction
Research studies have confirmed that men suffering from obstructive sleep apnea have higher rates of erectile dysfunction. This is because the sleep deprivation caused by obstructive sleep apnea lowers the testosterone levels. Sleep apnea also restricts the circulation of oxygen which is very important for a healthy erection.  
4. Lowers Your Sex Drive
Sleep apnea leaves you too exhausted and this sabotages your sexual libido. Simply put, the irregular sleep-wake pattern and constant sleep deprivation drives down sexual hormonal levels in men. It profoundly affects your performance in the bedroom inviting intimacy issues that eventually kill your sex life.    
5. Invites Other Health Concerns Like High Blood Pressure and Heart Problems
Untreated sleep apnea is also linked to other health problems like diabetes, liver problems, high blood pressure and heart disease. Obstructive sleep apnea also lowers concentration levels and slows down your reflexes, increasing the risk of accidents. It is also known to cause irritability, fatigue, moodiness and triggers weight gain – all of which can take a serious toll on your mental health and physical wellness.  
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Diagnosing sleep apnea is difficult because all the symptoms are prominent when you are sleeping but if you can record yourself while you are asleep you will know if you show the major warning signs during sleep. You can also ask your bed partner to observe your sleep habits and see if you exhibit these major warning signs:
● Loud snoring
● Choking or gasping during sleep
● Snorting sounds
● Shortness of breath
● Waking up with a sore throat and headache
● Excessive sleepiness during daytime
● Irritability and fatigue
● Difficulty in paying attention
● Frequent urge to urinate at night
Different Treatment Alternatives for Sleep Apnea
If your sleep apnea is mild, making small lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, losing weight or quitting smoking may help alleviate your medical condition. But if your sleep apnea is moderate or severe, you may need to use breathing devices while you sleep. Your doctor may also recommend surgeries to restructure your jaw, to fix a deviated nasal septum or to create a new air passageway. Surgeries can also be performed to implant plastic rods in your soft palate, to remove polyps from your nasal cavity or to remove your enlarged tonsils.
Since there are several factors that can trigger sleep apnea, the treatment approach will vary based on your unique individual condition. The best way to know your sleep apnea treatment options is to speak to a dentist specializing in sleep apnea.  

A dental marketer at Michael G. Long DDS, Fresno, CA and a believer in holistic health, Grace lives by the rule that health and happiness go hand in hand. She writes on various dental topics focusing on healthy living and holistic health. When she’s not working or blogging, she enjoys spending her time with her family and volunteering at the local youth centers where she educates children about the importance of health and fitness. - 559-432-4850