How Getting Treatment for Snoring and Sleep Apnea Can Help With Erectile Dysfunction
Suffering from sleep apnea can affect a variety of aspects of life – when you are both asleep and awake. Some male sufferers can find they have erectile dysfunction from the condition, having a damaging effect on their sex life, mental health, and confidence. This, in turn, leads to further issues down the line. It can, therefore, disrupt your sleep even more than it already has been, leading to stress and worry. If you’re looking for help with erectile dysfunction read on. We explain how getting treatment for sleep apnea can help with erectile dysfunction.
Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction: What’s the Connection?
Many may assume that erectile dysfunction is a byproduct of sleep apnea because you are tired. This is, in part, true. But it’s a little more complex than that. Sleep apnea of this nature is so-called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and is, in fact, the most common form of the condition. The other types are Central Sleep Apnea and Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. When you suffer from OSA, you can actually cease breathing mid-sleep – one of the causes of snoring. This, in turn, leads to restless nights in bed. As a result of OSA, men can suffer from issues with their levels of oxygen, as well as their testosterone. Both of these are required when it comes to getting an erection and performing sexually. The ins and outs of this are still a little unclear to scientists studying in this topic. But the figures prove that men with OSA have a higher rate of erectile dysfunction, thanks to the lower amount of testosterone in their bodies. The main link here comes from erectile dysfunction and the body’s endocrine system, thanks to a person’s suffering from a sleep disorder. If these issues over-stimulate a man’s hormone activity in the brain and the adrenal gland, achieving a peaceful state of sleep will be more tricky. It’s a vicious circle, however; low testosterone levels can, in turn, affect sleep.
How do you Know you Have Sleep Apnea?
The symptoms of sleep apnea are as follows:
- Loud snoring or heavy breathing while sleeping
- Not breathing while you sleep
- Suffering from a sore mouth or dry throat after you wake
- Feeling overly dehydrated in the night and the morning after
- Waking suddenly, struggling to catch your breath
- Restlessness in the night
- Trouble falling asleep when you go to bed
- Feelings of stress, impatience, irritability, and depression
- Fatigue during the daytime and being prone to nodding off
- Issues with concentration
Then, a byproduct can be suffering from erectile dysfunction.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction is when a man cannot get an erection – or can, but fails to stay firm enough to have sexual intercourse. The condition isn’t uncommon and can occur even temporarily sometimes. For example, being stressed, having a reaction to medication and other physical ailments can cause this problem. Sex is linked to psychology too. However, a long-standing, long-lasting experience with impotence is more serious and will need treatment. The disorder can also lead to a lack of interest in having sex. This condition can be caused not only by issues with sleeping but from a variety of other health problems, such as diabetes, cancer, drug and alcohol use, heart disease, obesity, and advanced age. You should always talk to your doctor if you experience erectile dysfunction for more than a few days as it can be a sign of a more serious health concern, but just as importantly, there are many good ways to help with erectile dysfunction that your doctor can prescribe.
Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction
If you see your doctor about your concerns regarding problems getting an erection, they will ask you about the above symptoms and life circumstances. You will take a physical exam, which will include an examination of your penis and testicles. Your prostate may also be checked.
Treating the Condition
There are various ways to help with erectile dysfunction, but if it’s related directly to a sleep apnea condition the best methods are as follows.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is often proved to improve erection performance. In this instance, a mask will be placed over the nose to help with air pressure. The idea here is to raise the oxygen and testosterone levels in the body, therefore allowing a healthier erection.
- Tissue removal can be done to clear the nasal airways and therefore help with erection problems (thanks to the increased airflow around the body).
- There are devices that can be used to increase air pressure. These are often designed to work on specific areas of your body, mostly around your face. These might include upper airway devises, nostril devices, oral throat-clearing devices or an additional supply of oxygen while you sleep.
- Surgery. This will of course only be doctor recommended and can include making a new air passage; jaw reconstruction; removing nasal cavity poly grips, enlarged tonsils or adenoids; implanting plastic rods into your soft palate, or correcting your deviated nasal septum.
These are all quite extreme resorts and are all on the advice of your doctor. Sometimes, sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction or, indeed, both, can be stopped by simple lifestyle changes. Quit smoking, drugs, and alcohol will help, as will exercising more regularly and losing weight. Allergy fighters are also excellent for breathing issues and can, in turn, help with the condition.
Medication for Erectile Dysfunction
The following medication must be prescribed by your doctor, and will only be done so if he or she feels its appropriate for your condition. It’s often the case that medication must be tested out, to make sure you don’t suffer from side-effects. This is also because your body or condition might not react adequately to a certain type of medication. Everyone is different. This list of medication helps stimulate blood flow to a penis and can help with erectile dysfunction.
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
- Testosterone (Androderm)
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
- Vardenafil (Levitra)
- Alprostadil (Caverject)
Supplements and herbs can be used to help some men suffering from this condition. These should be run past a doctor or pharmacist and always be subject to regulation. This list of natural remedies can help with erectile dysfunction.
- Asparagus racemosus
Yoga can be extremely effective when treating erectile dysfunction – as well as other forms of holistic treatment. Prostatic massage is when your tissues around and within your groin area are massaged so that blood flow is released to your penis. Acupuncture is not a one-stop fix and will need repeat sessions. However, many have stressed that it can help with erectile dysfunction. Again, a licensed specialist must be used. Especially given the fact that needles are involved and must be sterilized and disposed of appropriately. Pelvic floor muscle exercises can also help. An exercise perhaps more associated with women, studies have proven that this can help men finding it difficult to achieve an erection.
The Root of the Problem
Below, we have listed some ways of tackling the problem head-on, by treating your snoring problem. It’s likely that, if your erectile dysfunction is a byproduct of sleep apnea, actioning these remedies could solve the issue.
Peppermint Oil and Goldenseal
Chest and nasal congestion can also cause snoring. Peppermint oil helps relieve congestion including in nasal passageways. It is also a great essential oil to relieve sore throats. Goldenseal is another natural supplement that can help relieve nasal and chest congestion. You can take this supplement in capsule, liquid, or powder form. Try some herbal tea with peppermint or goldenseal – just make sure it doesn’t have caffeine.
If the sinuses block the airways, the mouth will open and the uvula will begin to vibrate. Vitamin C may help prevent fight this because it helps boosts your immune system. A healthy immune system will help keep sinuses clear. Foods high in vitamin C include broccoli, red bell pepper, and citrus. Papaya and pineapple have high levels of vitamin C and also bromelain that also helps sinuses.
Eucalyptus is a popular natural remedy to help fight chest colds. You have choices on how to apply eucalyptus to help minimize snoring. Try putting the eucalyptus leaves in a steamer and inhale it while breathing in the steam to clear out your sinuses. You can also put your head over a bowl of hot water and cover it to inhale the steam. Just drop about five drops of each eucalyptus and peppermint oil. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam. Be careful the steam isn’t too hot because it can burn. Do this right before bed and it will help reduce inflammation and clear your airways helping you to breathe easier without snoring.
Olive oil can help treat inflammation which can effectively alleviate swollen membranes. It soothes the tissues of air passages to help prevent snoring. Olive oil also helps reduce soreness and breath vibration when you sleep. You can simply take a sip of olive oil right before bed every night, or you can also mix it raw honey to consume before bed. You need about a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil to consumer nightly.
Honey is another natural remedy to help reduce inflammation. It can also help you ease a swollen throat. Honey is good for lubricating your throat to help limit snoring. You can add about a tablespoon of raw honey in a glass and add some lukewarm water. Mix them together and consumer every night before going to sleep. You can also mix the honey with peppermint tea or any other tea. Drink this tea before bed or right after dinner daily.
Chamomile tea can also treat your snoring. Chamomile also has anti-inflammation properties to help reduce snoring. This tea helps relax your muscles and nerves near your throat helping you to sleep more soundly without the interruption of snoring. Try adding about a tablespoon of chamomile flowers to your tea and boil them in the water for about 20 minutes. Add some raw honey to help you stop snoring. Have this tea nightly before bed to help you relax.
Cardamom is also a decongestant. It can help open the nasal passages that are blocked. If you open up you blocked nasal passage, there is more room for the air to pass through limiting snoring.You can take cardamom in various ways to help with your snoring. You can add a few cardamoms to your water and drink before bed. You should use about a half teaspoon of cardamoms in lukewarm water, which is better than cold water.
Will you Suffer From These Conditions Forever?
As listed above, the various remedies, treatments, devises, and surgeries available can help greatly and even cure a condition of erectile dysfunction. Devices can be used to control erectile dysfunction as well, such as a pump or ring, which can assist in keeping your sex life going, temporarily managing the condition. Sleep apnea is treated in various ways, meaning you’re not necessarily stuck with that forever, either. You can use a mouthpiece from your dentist to control sleep apnea. Mouthpieces work via either mandibular advancement or tongue stabilization. Mandibular advancement pulls the lower jaw forward, which reduces the amount of tissue that can obstruct the breathing passage. It also prevents the back of the throat from vibrating. Tongue stabilization uses suction to pull the tongue into a forward position and keeping it there throughout the night. Like the mandibular advancement device, it reduces the amount of tissue in the back of the throat, as well as vibration. A CPAP machine will have the snorer wearing a mask on their head which a machine pumps air through. Your nose will fill with air and this ensures that you will achieve a continuous stream of air into your lungs as per normal. Anti-snoring chin straps have been around for years. They fit around the back of the head and around your chin, which keeps the mouth closed while you sleep.
Here to Help with Erectile Dysfunction and Sleep Apnea
We are here to help you with your snoring issues. We’ll advise you on how to tackle and prevent it, and how to overcome the issues that follow on from a condition like sleep apnea. If you want to share experiences or offer your own tips on help with erectile dysfunction, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the post, and tell us – and other readers like you – your thoughts. And be sure to check out our blog for an array of other posts on this topic, and many others.
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