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Does Sleep Apnea Cause Hair Loss?

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Does Sleep Apnea Cause Hair Loss?

Postby dirtymartinigirl » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:03 pm

I'm wondering if any correlation between sleep apnea and hair loss or thinning hair?

I know that I personally have experienced considerable hair loss (and I'm an otherwise healthy 34 year old female with no family history of thinning hair)in the past 3 years. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea about a year ago and have been successfully treated with CPAP since then. I have been distressed over my thinning hair (which probably doesn't help the situation) and trying to find out if there is a known link or any research in this area.

My hypothesis is that the cumulative effects of ongoing hypoxia from the sleep apnea lead to degenerative changes to the endothelial layers of the vessels in the scalp as well as reduce levels of Nitric Oxide (important in hair growth and regrowth) due to the compromised airway of apnea patients. It is known that the highest concentrations of Nitric Oxide reside in the nasopharynx of humans, so I think its plausible that the physical restriction of apnea may inhibit its ability to freely circulate in the bloodstream.

I was wondering if any sleep specialists who read this forum might have more information pertaining to the symptom of hair loss in sleep apnea patients?

(before you tell me to search the archives of this forum, I already have. I got over 600 results, and most of them were related to the masks rubbing hair off. If I missed this topic there, I do apologize in advance.)
DMG

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PCOS?

Postby AndreaG » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:25 am

There's apparently a link between PCOS and sleep apnea.
http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/w ... 0065_4.htm

And a symptom of PCOS is alopecia.

Might be worth getting it checked out....
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Postby dirtymartinigirl » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:30 pm

That is interesting Andrea. I had a pelvic ultrasound about 6 months ago and no signs of PCOS, so I doubt that is the culprit at work with me.
DMG

Resmed S8 Autoset Vantage with heated humidifier
Mirage Swift Nasal Pillows
Pressure ~10-11
Autoscan Software/Smartcard
(Untreated AHI 32.9)
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Location: Northern California

Postby Mrmanguy84 » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:26 pm

I'm not an expert or anything, but I've read that sleep apnea can cause lowered testosterone, and if you testosterone gets really low your hair (especially secondary hair) to thin. I think when you get back to normal levels it comes back though.

~John
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Postby Guest » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:02 pm

I think its possible that hormonal changes could have a role in this. Interestingly, since I've been on CPAP about a year now, my hairstylist says that I have a bunch of new hair growth coming in.

Coincidence? Hmmmmmmmmmm
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