Can sleep apnea be fatal?
Sleep apnea is so much more than a condition that makes you snore. It’s a fully fledged sleep disorder with a range of causes and consequences which, if left unchecked can be incredibly dangerous.
To learn more about what causes sleep apnea, you can read our blog post here, but in this article we’re going to be focusing on the consequences of the disorder.
Short term consequences
While the consequences of sleep apnea vary between people, some of the most common short term symptoms include:
Though by no means fatal in the short term, undiagnosed, untreated sleep apnea can have an enormous impact on your quality of life, your ability to work and your relationships with other people. If you have trouble sleeping or think you maybe have some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, please get in touch with us.
However, there’s more to this disorder than an array of inconveniences, as debilitating as they can be. Long term, untreated sleep apnea can indeed be deadly. Here’s why.
Long term consequences
Because sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing while you sleep, it lowers the amount of oxygen retained in your body (something called hypoxia). This induces a fight or flight response in your body that has a significant impact on your cardiovascular system including:
Raised blood pressure
Raised heart rate
Higher blood volume
This significantly increases your risk of cardiovascular problems. Studies into this phenomena have resulted in these three key findings:
Sleep apnea can increase your risk of stroke by 2-3 times
Sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart attack by 30% over 4-5 years.
Sleep apnea increases the risk of sudden cardiac death.
So to answer the question, can sleep apnea be fatal?
But it doesnt need to be. We have the services and technology available to treat sleep apnea and reverse these risks. And the first step to doing this is talking to a professional.
If you’re concerned that you have sleep apnea, or have trouble with sleep more generally, please get in touch with us. A chat with one of our sleep technicians is your first step on the pathway to truly good sleep.
This article is from Keystone Medical Media, a sub-entity of Keystone Content.