Sleep Apnea’s Effect on Men (Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Encino, Tarzana, Chatsworth, Calabasas, Studio City, Sherman Oaks)
If you’re male and over 40, you’re in one of the prime demographics for sleep apnea. If you’re overweight, this is even more the case. Most of the people with this disorder are undiagnosed and, thus, receive no treatment. Sleep apnea is not a minor disorder. Left untreated, it is potentially life-threatening. It is associated with other illnesses that tend to affect many men, such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Some of the symptoms of this disorder are surprising, and many of them are related to the sleep deprivation that sufferers of this disorder experience.
Sleeping is a very complex process. When your body finally does doze off, your muscles relax. This can lead to the most common type of sleep apnea—obstructive sleep apnea—when the soft tissue, tonsils and tongue relax and sometimes obstruct the airway. Usually, the affected person tends to snore loudly and will wake up several times during the night, whether they remember it or not. This prevents the body from achieving the deepest levels of sleep and can cause myriad problems physically and psychologically. Some of these symptoms can be hard to describe in specific terms.
Some men who suffer from sleep apnea describe themselves as becoming depressive, lethargic or simply “not themselves”. Many people who suffer from this disorder have short fuses and are prone to losing their tempers over very small issues. These sorts of disturbances in your personality can make it difficult to maintain relationships and can cause a lot of strife. While this behavior oftentimes seems wholly confusing to those around the affected individual, it’s simple exhaustion. The person who suffers from sleep apnea, quite simply, never gets enough rest and, therefore, they never feel as good as they could or should.
Sleep apnea will oftentimes leave sufferers feeling as if they’re functioning at the most basic level. If you’re exhausted, you may find yourself “snapping out of it” a lot when you’re engaged in monotonous tasks. Unfortunately, many monotonous tasks are the same tasks where being compromised mentally carries with it severe risks. Sleep apnea sufferers tend to drift off when they’re driving and when they’re performing other potentially dangerous tasks. If you’ve caught yourself arriving to or home from work without remembering the drive, you’re suffering the sort of “autopilot” effect that sometimes is among the symptoms of sleep apnea.
There are numerous treatments available for this condition and, because it can be deadly, it must always be investigated by a doctor. The sleep physician will usually want to perform a polysomnograph, which is a detailed study of your sleep. If you have sleep apnea, they may prescribe the use of a machine, surgery or dental appliances to remedy the condition. The use of an nCPAP—Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure—device is still the most common treatment. Dental appliances are also less radical options than surgery, and tongue retainers and mandibular repositioning devices may offer relief from this condition for many.
To learn more about Sleep Apnea treatments and to find out if they are right for you, contact Smile Studio LA at 818-788-1352 today for a free consultation!