Sleep Disorders in People with Erectile Dysfunction: Can Viagra Actually Assist?

Male erectile dysfunction, which is a persistent inability to evoke and sustain a firm penile erection, is closely linked to various sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), shift work sleep disorder, jimmy-legs syndrome, etc. According to one study, whose abstract was published on ncbi.nlm.nih.gov in December 2017, as many as 69% of all men affected by ED may have undiagnosed sleep problems, most commonly, obstructive sleep apnea of different severity.

How is erectile dysfunction connected to poor sleep and vice versa?

The connection between the impairment of men’s erectile function and sleep disturbances has long been established, although its exact mechanism of interaction is still not completely understood. One way to explain it would be that men who suffer from sleeping disorders are often found to have lower levels of the testosterone hormone and oxygen in their blood, which may lead to several health issues, including erectile dysfunction.

Both oxygen and testosterone are necessary for the development of naturally strong and lasting erections in men. Scientists and researchers assume that poor sleep quality may cause testosterone and oxygen levels to plunge. Furthermore, the tiredness and stress induced by the lack of sleep can be contributing factors that aggravate men’s erectile problems, making it even harder to produce a healthy penile erection in response to sexual stimulation.

Is Viagra proper treatment for men co-diagnosed with ED and a sleep problem?

A study involving 14 middle-aged men diagnosed with severe OSA and erectile problems who took 50mg of Viagra at bedtime revealed that while the medication helped significantly enhance the amount of sleep time, the participants had much lower levels of oxygen saturation. It was also noted that the patients on 50mg Viagra experienced far more breathing stops during night sleep than those taking placebo, which might be an extremely dangerous pattern for men with obstructive sleep apnea.

The results of the experiment cannot be considered exhaustive or conclusive, and further research is required to determine the safety and suitability of Viagra for ED patients who are also diagnosed with OSA. However, it is clear that the use of Viagra and the likes specifically for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is not effective and may put one’s health and life at risk.

What treatment options are available for ED patients with OSA?

Online pharmacies, all warn that self-medication with Viagra and other sildenafil-based erectile dysfunction drugs is very unsafe, especially for patients who may have undiagnosed sleep problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

Only your physician can knowingly recommend a proper treatment option based on your immediate and long-term needs and with due consideration for your concurrent health problems. Always check with your doctor to see if Viagra is the right choice for you.

Here are some approaches to treating OSA that showed good results in patients with erectile dysfunction:

Sleeping Aids

A doctor may occasionally start treating first the sleeping problem rather than ED depending on the patient’s medical case. As of now, there are many pharmaceutical options that exist. The most time-tested and efficient, as well as the most recent of them, can be found at App Canadian Pharmacy, an all-in-one healthcare store that delivers sleeping aid and other drugs in expensively and on time:

  • Ativan;
  • Melatonin.

Still, their efficacy may be different depending on the severity of difficulty sleeping which will be prior examined.

CPAP therapy

Researchers from the International Society of Sexual Medicine claim that certain therapies approved for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, in particular continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, are efficient in improving men’s erections long-term.

The CPAP treatment method requires a patient to go to sleep wearing a special mask that helps maintain continuous pressure in the airways and keeps the person’s air passages open at all times. More oxygen allows for better and more regular breathing, which leads to better rest, less fatigue, and, presumably, improved production of testosterone.

The CPAP therapy was also found effective in men who suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnea but did not have a clinically confirmed diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. Such patients reported experiencing erections that were firmer and more lasting than usual.

UPPP surgery

Another study showed that OSA patients after an uvulo-palatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) operation experienced fewer erectile dysfunction symptoms, which also appeared to be much less pronounced. Such tissue removal surgery helps unblock the airways, which ensures a steady and uninterrupted airflow and better oxygen supply to the body.

Other OSA treatment methods that might decrease ED symptoms

In addition to the said CPAP and UPPP methods, patients affected by OSA and certain other sleep disturbances may try one of the following treatment options that, if successful, can improve one’s ED symptoms:

  • dental devices, which help keep the patient’s throat open;
  • nasal appliances that are placed over each nostril and increase air pressure (EPAP devices);
  • hypoglossal nerve stimulation;
  • surgical reconstruction of the jaw;
  • removal of adenoids or tonsils, if enlarged;
  • nasal cavity polyps removal;
  • deviated septum surgery.

Introducing healthy changes to your lifestyle is an essential step towards treating OSA and ultimately relieving ED symptoms. Such changes may include:

  • abstention from alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco;
  • a balanced diet designed to promote weight loss;
  • improved personal hygiene and bedtime routine.

The Bottom Line

Many years of research have found the connection between male erectile dysfunction and certain sleep disorders, even though the exact nature of such a relationship is still unknown. While the use of Viagra in general benefits ED patients co-diagnosed with sleep problems by improving the overall sleep quality and duration, PDE5 inhibitors are best avoided by men who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

So far, the continuous positive airway pressure therapy and the UPPP surgery have shown most efficiency in the treatment of OSA patients with impaired erectile function, especially if supported by healthy changes to one’s lifestyle.

If you have a clinically established diagnosis of sleep apnea and start noticing any symptoms of erectile dysfunction, a visit to your physician is highly recommended. Taking timely care of OSA may not only help you produce and maintain firm penile erections on more occasions but also allow avoiding other grave health complications like heart problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *