Can Sleep Apnea Become Fatal?

Woman suffering from sleep apnea lays awake in bed during the middle of the night

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According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 38,000 people die in the US per year from heart disease and sleep apnea as a contributing factor. Unfortunately, most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it and those who do know they have it, get prescribed uncomfortable CPAP machines to use while they sleep. Eventually, they stop using it altogether, leading to no improvement in their health or symptoms. At Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake, we offer a comfortable sleep apnea treatment alternative to CPAP. Discover why you should find out if you have sleep apnea and why it’s important to use treatment consistently.

How Can Sleep Apnea Impact Health When Not Treated?

Many patients wonder, can you die from sleep apnea? The answer is yes. If you don’t treat sleep apnea, it can result in death. When you’re sleeping and you suffer from sleep apnea, your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function. When you stop breathing at night, it causes your body to go into fight or flight, causing your heart to beat even faster and causing your arteries to narrow. Over time, this fast heart rate and narrow arteries can cause vascular and heart effects.

Sleep apnea can lead to:

  • Faster heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Larger blood volume
  • More stress and inflammation

With these effects, you’re automatically at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

How Sleep Apnea Increases the Risk of Heart Problems

Sleep apnea can raise the risk of a stroke two to three times and increase the chance of a heart attack or death by 30% in just over four to five years.

Overall, sleep apnea can increase your risk of sudden cardiac death, especially if you are over 60 years old, have a blood oxygen level of 78% or less while you sleep, or you have 20 or more apnea episodes in an hour of sleep.

In a 2011 medical review, nearly 60% of people who had heart failure also had sleep apnea. The same study also showed that adults who treated their sleep apnea had a better two-year survival rate than those who didn’t.

Overall, sleep apnea can cause your heart health to worsen and ultimately increase your chance of death.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Mohegan Lake

If you think you have sleep apnea or you dislike your current treatment plan, Drs. Sepiashvili and Mejia are here to help. We can help you find an oral appliance that fits your needs to help you stop snoring for good. With consistent treatment, you can reduce your risk of death and other heart conditions related to sleep apnea. Please contact our Mohegan Lake dental office today to schedule an appointment for sleep apnea treatment.

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