The Link Between Sleeping Disorders and ED

Did you know that studies have found a link between sleeping disorders and erectile dysfunction? In fact, one study of sleep apnea patients found that 63% of participants also had erectile dysfunction.  

At HealthCare Partners Family Medicine, in The Villages, Florida, Nelson Kraucak, MD, FAAP, and our team are proud to offer a holistic approach to health care. That means we treat the source of your illness instead of just covering up the symptoms. In this blog, we discuss the link between sleep disorders and erectile dysfunction. 

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when your airways develop a blockage during the night while you sleep. Others observing you sleeping at night may notice that you stop breathing for a period. 

Some common causes of sleep apnea include:

Sleep apnea is usually treatable, depending on its cause. Sometimes, the condition occurs naturally as a result of age.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction happens when you can’t have or maintain an erection, and it’s also a possible symptom of sleep apnea. While we don’t know precisely why this is, we do think that it has something to do with the fact that people with sleep apnea have lower testosterone and oxygen levels.

This is likely due to the fact that sleep deprivation, a common symptom of sleep apnea, can restrict oxygen intake and drop testosterone levels. 

Treatment options

We have found that treating symptoms of sleep apnea can also help to alleviate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. A common way to treat sleep apnea is to use a continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP machine.

A CPAP machine includes a mask that you place over your mouth, nose, or both while you sleep. This mask is attached to a tube, and the tube is connected to the CPAP machine, which regulates your breathing and keeps your airways open while you sleep. 

Your doctor may also recommend removing certain tissues in your through to help open up your airways in a procedure called a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Other treatment options that have shown success include:

To learn more about sleep disorders and erectile dysfunction and to see if we can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with HealthCare Partners Family Medicine today.

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