Connection between Sleep Apnea and Sexual Health

Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, CA

If you have sleep apnea, you are not receiving enough restful sleep. Given that snoring is the major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, you also may be keeping your partner awake. Sleep apnea also can impact your ability to be intimate with your partner due to feeling constantly fatigued and experiencing a loss of libido. Recent medical research shows a link between erectile dysfunction and sleep apnea, showing yet another possible significant consequence of this serious sleep breathing disorder.

Sleep apnea can impact sexual health

A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine looked at 713 male patients who visited Seoul National University Hospital between 2006 and 2014, complaining of snoring and/or daytime sleepiness. These patients also exhibited symptoms of depression and low quality of life due to their sleep difficulties—as well as erectile dysfunction. These findings align with what we already know about people who live without quality sleep, an eventual consequence of a sleep breathing disorder, who have been known to cause diminished libido and even impotence.

Although the study suggested that psychological treatment could help improve the patients’ quality of life and sexual function, we believe that another more effective course of treatment would be to treat the sleep apnea itself. A sleep apnea dentist in Agoura Hills, like the ones on staff at Integrative Dental Arts, can treat a sleep breathing disorder by addressing the root issue: the airway problem that is impeding or interrupting breathing during sleep, instead of just masking your symptoms by issuing a CPAP machine.

Integrative Dental Arts prefers to treat sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy. This involves providing the patient with a unique mouthpiece that is customized from impressions of the mouth to make sure the oral appliance fits as well as possible, guiding the jaw into its ideal forward resting position, making room in the mouth for the tongue, and encouraging an optimum oral resting posture with lips together, teeth together, and tongue resting gently against the upper palate to help maintain an open airway during sleep.

Know the consequences of sleep apnea

If you have sleep apnea, your ability to function on a daily basis likely is affected. This is because every time your breathing becomes impeded, your brain sends signals to your body that disrupt the sleep cycle. A person with an advanced, untreated case of sleep apnea may experience these blockages as many as 30 to 60 times per hour.

Sleep apnea can affect your ability to get rest, your sexual health, and even jeopardize your life. Individuals who live with severe sleep apnea especially for a prolonged period of time, are at a much higher risk of chronic, systemic, life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and certain types of cancer. Treating your sleep apnea could reduce your risk of these ailments.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Agoura Hills

It is important to remember that sleep apnea is a serious medical problem that will not go away on its own. If you are suffering from this disorder, you must receive treatment from an experienced and well-trained medical professional. If you already have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or think you may have this serious sleep breathing disorder, call our office at (818) 889-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Integrative Dental Arts serves patients living and working in the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village in southern California.

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