Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction: What is the Connection?

Topics: Sleep Apnea, Erectile Dysfunction

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the most common types of sleep apnea, which is potentially a severe sleep disorder. In addition, OSA can impact your testosterone and oxygen levels to the extent that they can lead to different issues, including erectile dysfunction (ED).

Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction

Research states the high prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. However, doctors have not found a reason to back the situation.

Erectile dysfunction is a situation when the person finds it difficult to maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse. ED can be a symptom of sleep apnea.

This blog will make you look at the connection between sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction also how to treat both conditions.

A study suggests that almost half of the people with sleep apnea experience erectile dysfunction at some point or other. Older adults are more likely to get affected by this, especially people with higher body mass.

Other studies have found that this number can even go higher. One study by the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2009 found out that out of 69% of male participants who had obstructive sleep apnea also had erectile dysfunction.

The link between the two may relate to testosterone levels. People with sleep apnea tend to have lower testosterone levels, which is an essential hormone in sexual activity.

What are the causes behind Sleep Apnea?

Here is the list of several possible causes of sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat are not able to keep your airways open while you’re asleep. Central sleep apnea is a condition in which the brain just forgets to control breathing while sleeping.

Sleep apnea can be a result of several factors, including:

  • Have a large circumference of the neck
  • Having an Overbite
  • Having Obesity
  • History of sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having large tonsils
  • Sleeping position
  • Structural issues like small jaw and deep chin

You can learn more about sleep apnea here

What are the causes of erectile dysfunction? 

Being unable to get or keep an erection can result from stress, fatigue, and drinking alcohol way too much. However, if it happens regularly, there could be some physical and emotional reasons behind this.

ED can be due to physical factors; the primary cause is generally associated with the blood flow to the penis, nerve supply, or hormones. There are some physical factors, including: 

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Substance exploitation
  • Hormonal disorders, including hypothyroid
  • Antidepressants

Emotional issues can also be the reason for erectile dysfunction sometimes. This can be associated with feelings of guilt and mental health conditions, including depression.

What are the treatment options for sleep apnea?

In general, treating sleep apnea includes opening up of airways so that you can breathe easily while sleeping. The necessary treatment will depend upon the underlying issues with sleep apnea, including lifestyle changes such as weight loss, quitting smoking, and consuming alcohol.

In some cases, doctors might recommend sleeping with some kind of device, including a mouthpiece. These devices will allow more natural breathing while you’re sleeping. In addition, physical therapy can be helpful for both mouth and nose. You can learn more about these devices here.

If your sleep apnea is severe in nature and other treatments are not working for you, you can jump onto the last resort, surgery. Surgery can be done to move the jaw, fix the airways and tonsils.

There is a range of home remedies that can help a person to get relieved from the situation.

Getting enough sleep may restore testosterone levels to normal and reduce ED. Getting enough sleep will help you with erectile dysfunction also.

If you’re having difficulty in sleeping, book a home sleep test and get yourself checked from the comfort of your home.

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