It is a known fact that a lot of people dread the name of sleep apnea because of its nature. Stopping of breath is a major issue in your sleep and while sleep apnea is not generally a fatal disorder, a lot of people can’t help but feel like something bad is going to happen to them and panic even when they are getting treatment from a sleep apnea doctor. Here are the possible answers to the burning question: Can I die from sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea Death Toll
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where you can stop breathing for a few seconds because the absence or presence of too much pressure can collapse your airways, causing you to stop breathing, but resuming the actions after a matter of a few seconds. This may sound like there’s nothing to be afraid of, but this small action can cause a list of effects on your body and vital organs. It has been found out that almost 35,000 people die every year from organ related problems due to sleep apnea in the USA alone. That is a huge number.
Although sleep apnea itself is not the cause of death, it can lead to certain chain reactions in the body and cause adverse effects on the heart, brain and other organs. So, because sleep apnea is a huge problem, it needs to be treated as soon as possible. A lot of people leave it untreated in hopes that it will settle within itself within no time, but it only makes things worse.
It Can Cause High Blood Pressure
One of the main dangers of sleep apnea and cause of death can be spiking of your blood pressure. This happens mainly due to the lack of oxygen in your blood, when you stop breathing. Stopping your breath for a few seconds may sound pretty insignificant but it can lead to hypertension if it goes on for too long. Hypertension can cause a lot of stress on the heart, brain and kidneys and it can lead to organ failure or stroke as well. Hypertension is the very thing that also leads to heart attacks.
Death From Heart Complications In Sleep Apnea
As mentioned above, hypertension can lead to heart attacks and more cardiovascular issues. In fact, the highest death rate of people suffering from sleep apnea is due to suffering from a heart attack in their sleep. Again, this has to do with lack of oxygen in the blood and high pressure of the blood pumping through your veins and arteries. The heart is not designed to sustain this high pressure for much longer and over time, the heart starts to weaken, ultimately leading to cardiac arrest. Sleep apnea, if left untreated, can lead to severe heart attacks in the future.
Lowering Of Oxygen In Your Blood
This issue is huge and as you can probably tell from the above statements, the presence of oxygen in your body is your saving grace. If you have oxygen in your blood, not only will you be able to breathe better but you will also feel your organs functioning properly. Lack of oxygen in the blood can cause you to hyperventilate, it can cause your heart to constrict, it can collapse your arteries and veins and it can lead to brain damage as well. Oxygen is a vital constituent in your blood.
You Can Feel Claustrophobic
Psychological stress and anxiety can also be the cause of sleep apnea. If you are always worrying about losing your breath in sleep, then obviously you will not be able to fall asleep even if you want to. This can cause a lot of mental and emotional stress.
Also, people can start to feel claustrophobic with the CPAP machine as it helps to regulate the pressure in your airways, allowing you to fall asleep better without losing your breath. These frantic episodes can lead to long term anxiety and depression and this can be quite hard to deal with.
While there are no major fatalities from sleep apnea, it can definitely take a toll on your body and give birth to other complications, if the disorder is left untreated. So, visit a sleep center MD and get proper treatment to avoid any complications.