Men are genetically engineered differently from women. Physically, the make-up and structure of the two genders are completely unique. The size, shape, and functioning of the male body is very different than that of the female. The physical structure of the male body causes men to be at higher risk of developing Sleep Apnea.
The majority of testosterone production in the body occurs while a male is asleep. Sleeping disorders like Sleep Apnea that cause frequent arousals during the night often have a detrimental effect on the sufferer’s quality of sleep. Males with Sleep Apnea experience a decreased level of testosterone production in the body. If testosterone production in male Sleep Apnea patients decreases, the sexual drive of those men can also decrease. In addition to regulating sexual energy and passion, the hormone testosterone can affect the body’s ability to maintain proper muscle mass and bone strength. Men with Sleep Apnea may be at a higher risk of sexual dysfunction or impotence, arthritis, and overall vitality reduction as a result of lower testosterone production.
Men often experience a lot of stress and responsibility surrounding their jobs. It has become the fashionable stereotype that the man of the house be the strong, healthy, breadwinner who can fight dragons and slay spiders. All of the excess stress that accompanies the male’s societal role can cause high levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. Heightened Cortisol levels make a patient more susceptible to developing Sleep Apnea as well as experiencing complications from the disorder.
Men aged 40 to 70, who suffer from severe Sleep Apnea, are more likely to develop heart problems as a result of their sleeping disorder. Older men with Sleep Apnea are more likely to experience high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart disease, and the need for surgery than men without Sleep Apnea. The strenuous symptoms of Sleep Apnea contribute to numerous problems with the heart. During an apnea episode, the amount of oxygen available for use by the heart is drastically diminished and blood pressure rises. When the blood pressure level in the body becomes high, Cortisol is excreted. Cortisol causes nervous system reactions and results in the patient feeling alert in the middle of the night, a definite problem for Sleep Apnea patients.
Common Misdiagnosis of Sleep Apnea in Men
Scientific studies have proven that men are less likely to report problems and symptoms that may be related to Sleep Apnea. Men are more likely to brush off feelings of fatigue or irritability as opposed to seeking medical help. Men, however, are more likely to report the classic symptoms of Sleep Apnea to their doctors. Male patients most often complain of snoring, choking, or falling asleep during the day.
Because so many men who suffer from Sleep Apnea symptoms fail to report the symptoms, the disorder often goes undiagnosed or gets misdiagnosed. Sleep Apnea is commonly misdiagnosed as behavioral or mental disorders like Depression. In some cases, doctor’s fail to see all of the symptoms of Sleep Apnea and identify the disorder as some other illness based on a few common symptoms like high blood pressure or Insomnia. Men who suffer from Sleep Apnea are at a great risk for developing much more severe health issues; especially in middle-aged men, identifying the disorder in a timely manner is vital to heal preservation.
When consulting a medical professional, it is important that males be open and honest about all of the problems that are experiencing that may, or may not, be related to sleep. Sometimes, being completely open about your medical life can help your doctor identify the signs of symptoms that would have gone unnoticed otherwise.