Male conditions : London Health

Although some women do suffer from the conditions listed below, they are much more common in men.

Hair loss

Hair loss is part and parcel of getting older for many men, but it is also a source of great anxiety for many, especially those that start to lose their hair from an early age. Usually, men start to lose their hair between the ages of 30 and 50, but some people lose their hair as early as their twenties.

Reasons for hair loss

In the vast majority of cases, hair loss is genetic and starts to disappear in a certain pattern, known as male pattern baldness (the hair thins at the crown first and then starts thinning on other areas of the scalp). Other causes of hair loss may include anaemia, stress, an under-active thyroid and a scalp condition.

Can hair loss be prevented?

In many cases, hair loss cannot be stopped. In cases where hair loss has been caused by a medical condition, such as anaemia, the hair may start growing again once the condition has been treated. There are some treatments available which redistribute the hair to areas of the scalp that are thinning; this is known as hair transplant treatment. Some men may also wear a wig or use a lotion to stimulate hair growth.

Colour blindness

Colour blindness is much more common in men than women; it affects 1 in 20 men and 1 in 200 women. Colour blindness is an inherited condition that is caused by an abnormality in the colour vision gene. The most common type of colour blindness is red-green colour blindness, when the individual cannot tell which colour is red and which is green.

Can it be cured?

Colour blindness cannot be cured but it doesn’t have any damaging effects and it doesn’t impinge vision or stop people from doing the same activities that people without colour blindness do (some careers, such as being a pilot or joining the RAF may not be possible if you are colour blind). You shouldn’t need any medical treatment for this condition unless your vision becomes blurred or you suffer from sore or itchy eyes, which will usually be caused by a different condition.

Snoring

Snoring is a common condition amongst men, especially those over the age of 50. Snoring usually occurs as a result of the soft palate (the soft part at the back of the roof of the mouth) vibrating when you breathe during the night. Other causes and risk factors include:

  • Alcohol
  • Being overweight
  • Taking sleeping tablets
  • Having a cold, cough or throat infection
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Sleeping on your back

Effects of snoring

Snoring can be detrimental to both general health and psychological health as it can disturb sleep patterns, which will in turn, affect social relationships and performance at work as well as causing tiredness and a lack of energy and concentration.

Treatment for snoring

Treatment usually involves surgery if a blockage or problem with the structures of the nose is causing snoring. In most cases, a few simple changes can reduce snoring considerably; these include:

  • Avoiding drinking alcohol in the evenings
  • Giving up smoking
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Lose weight (if you are overweight)
  • Clear your head by inhaling steam and using a nasal spray if you have a cold

Men's Health

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