Physicians agree that sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, and certain health issues are closely linked. If you are a man, there are specific health issues that you’ll need to watch closely. Men experiencing sleep disorders have unique health needs. The most research indicates links between conditions such as sleep apnea and heart problems, testosterone production and depression. The latest men’s health research, released in 2015, shows new links between sleep disorders and serious medical conditions.
The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Depression in Men
Though depression itself is more common in women, it poses a very real men’s health issue. Particularly among men, sleep apnea is linked with depression. It’s a mental health concern that shouldn’t be ignored and often leads to a diminished quality of life, along with a wide array of related health conditions.
Depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated in men, and this can lead to more serious problems, including worsening of depression symptoms.
A new Australian study reveals that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be a significant risk factor for depression in men. Obstructive sleep apnea causes airways to be blocked briefly during sleep, causing decreased oxygen levels and disrupted sleep.
This study, presented by the American Thoracic Society International Conference, concluded that men with OSA and excessive daytime sleepiness are four to five times more likely to suffer from depression, compared to men with normal sleep patterns.
Taking into account other potential risk factors, this study confirmed that there is indeed a strong relationship between OSA and depression in men. The study suggested that men with OSA should be screened for depression.
If you think that you may be experiencing depression due to sleep apnea, or if you have not been diagnosed and think you are at risk, contact one of our Board Certified eos sleep physicians to discuss diagnosis and treatment options so that you can start sleeping and living better.
Other Health Concerns Related to Sleep Apnea
Researchers recognize the link to sleep apnea and significant health concerns, for both men and women, for some time. Heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke are all linked to untreated sleep apnea. There are however, additional health concerns that are specific to men.
OSA has been tied to male-specific hormonal issues such as decreased testosterone production. These hormonal imbalances can lead to a host of serious side effects. Addressing the symptoms, rather than the condition that caused it, can lead to further health issues.
Treatments like testosterone therapy have been linked to serious health concerns like enlarged prostates and even prostate cancer. Treating the sleep apnea, rather than embarking on testosterone therapy, has been shown to be the more effective option.
Testosterone issues are not the only concern for men with sleep apnea. Before the age of 45, high blood pressure is more likely to be experienced by men rather than women. The links between sleep apnea and high blood pressure and other related conditions are well established. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, the leading cause of death in America.
Sleep apnea affects both men and women, but it is far more common in men. Snoring and lack of sleep can be annoying, but, more importantly, they can greatly impact your overall health.
If you experience snoring and think that you may have sleep apnea, take our Berlin quiz to assess your risk. There is no reason to live with the risk and diverse treatment options are now available.
To set up an appointment to speak to a board certified eos sleep physician, contact us today. You’ll soon be on your way to better sleep, and better health.
Take the Berlin Quiz to assess your risk