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Can Sleep Apnea Kill You? What Happnes If Stay Untreated?

Can sleep apnea kill you?

Obstructive apnea is when your upper airway tissues collapse, causing you to stop breathing. This causes your blood oxygen levels to drop and triggers stress hormones in your body. You will need to regain your ability to breathe before you become suffocated.
However, just because you are unlikely to die from sleep apnea itself doesn’t mean sleep apnea can’t kill you.

Obstructive apnea occurs when your upper airway tissues collapsing, which can cause you to stop breathing. This can cause your blood oxygen levels and stress hormones to drop. It is important to regain your breathing ability before you become seriously ill from sleep apnea. Although you’re unlikely to die from sleep-apnea, that doesn’t mean you can leave it untreated.

Leave sleep apnea untreated – Dangerous

According to Yale School of Medicine for four to five years, sleep apnea can increase your chances of having a heart attack or dying by 30% for a period of 4 to 5 years.

Another study found that severe sleep disorders predict an 81% increase in sudden cardiac deaths and that stroke risk increases by 6% for every AHI.

The most shocking result is from the follow-up of a research, the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort . It found that severe sleep apnea was “significantly associated with an increased 3-fold all cause mortality rate. This means severe OSA can increase your chance of dying from any cause by three times.

OSA can raise your risk of developing heart disease or other serious health problems. But, OSA can also increase your chances of dying from non-communicable causes. The symptoms of sleep apnea can be both mental and physical. You are at greater risk of getting hurt at work, in traffic accidents or dying from mental impairment as a result of daytime fatigue.

This is despite the fact that there are more treatment options available for sleep apnea than ever before. However, at least 75% of those who have been followed up found they are still not diagnosed.

sleep apnea

What are the types of sleep apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea: Obstructive, central and complex sleep sleep aonea. Obstructive sleep apnea OSA is the most common type. It occurs when your throat muscles relax. When your brain doesn’t send a signal for your muscles to breath, it is called central sleep apnea. Complete sleep apnea can be described as a combination of central and obstructive. All types of sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems.

What are the symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The most common form of the disorder is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. However, the symptoms of OSA as well as CSA can often overlap. Sometimes people don’t realize they have symptoms. You may be able tell your partner.

These Sleep Apnea symptoms are important to be aware.

  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing stops and starts during the night (also called ” central sleeping apnea“).
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Wake up with dry lips
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficult to fall asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

What are the potential risks of untreated sleep apnea?

Sleep-deprived partner

Frequent snoring and gasping for air can be detrimental to your health as well as your partner’s. Loud noises can make your partner’s sleep difficult, which could have a negative impact on their overall health.

Daytime Fatigue

Excessive tiredness can cause irritable moods and difficulty concentrating. This could lead to poor performance at work or school. Commuters who drive while asleep are also at risk.

High blood pressure and heart problems

According to the Mayo Clinic: People suffering from sleep apnea may have high blood pressure or heart problems. The oxygen levels drop suddenly when you stop breathing. Experts warn against sudden and repeated drops in oxygen levels. This can lead to high blood pressure and strain your cardiovascular system.

Sleep disorders can also increase your chances of having a stroke, heart attack, or abnormal heartbeats.

Type 2 Diabetes

Experts say sleep apnea could cause insulin resistance and alter glucose metabolism. This could increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes[2]. Obesity and advanced age are also factors in type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic Syndrome

Sleep apnea has also been linked to the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome can cause both metabolic and cardiovascular complications, such as high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, hypertension, and other conditions like hypertension. Researchers believe that the metabolic syndrome could trigger obstructive sleep apnea. More research is necessary to determine the relationship between these conditions.

Liver Problems

People suffering from sleep apnea might be more vulnerable to abnormal liver tests and scarring from nonalcoholicfatty-liver disease.

The best way for sleep apnea treatment

Sleep treatment by CPAP machine is the FDA approved most effective way till now. Depending on their health condition, users can wear the fixed pressure CPAP, Auto-adjusting CPAP, or BiPAP machine while sleeping to breathe regularly. The body shouldn’t strive for oxygen at any moment during the night.


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