Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder caused by relaxation of the throat muscles that block the airway. It affects men twice as often as women. If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping at night, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you snore?
Do you stop breathing in your sleep or wake up gasping for air?
Are you tired after a full night’s sleep?
If the answer is yes, then you may have sleep apnea. Common signs and symptoms include
Stopped breathing during sleep
Abrupt gasping that wakes you
Choking during sleep
Other symptoms can be more subtle, including morning headache, waking up with a dry or sore throat, depression, or irritability.
Why Is Sleep So Essential to Men’s Health
Sleep is vital to our health and vitality, as many important functions take place while we sleep. Our immune system is strengthened, hormones are regulated, and natural bodily rhythms are maintained with good sleep. Conversely, poor sleep has been linked to weight gain, hormonal disturbance, decreased libido, and shortened lifespan. Sleep apnea leads to disrupted sleep patterns and negative side effects yet, interestingly, many people with OSA think they sleep well.
It may not seem like a big deal if you feel like your sleeping patterns are normal, but if left untreated, OSA can cause serious men’s health issues. When you stop breathing for periods of time, the oxygen levels in your blood decrease, which increases the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, leading to heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.
There are several risk factors for OSA. Smoking, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure all increase its risk. Some risk factors are out of your control like your gender or a naturally narrow airway. However, losing weight and quitting tobacco will help decrease the risk and improve your overall health.
How to Tackle OSA With EveresT Men’s Health
If you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping, wake up feeling fatigued, or think you may have OSA, it’s important to discuss this with a men’s health care expert. At Everest, we offer a host of comprehensive men’s health services to help diagnose and treat OSA. To schedule a consultation at either our Plymouth or Woodbury location, contact us today, so we can help you get back to sleeping better and experiencing the benefits of restorative sleep.
If you suspect that you may have OSA but have not been evaluated, we can assist with completing a home sleep test and have your results interpreted by a sleep specialist to determine if you do. If it’s determined that you have OSA, we will assist in the process of initiating treatment.