Can Sleep Apnea Kill You?

Can Sleep Apnea Kill You? | Orthodontists Associates of Western New York

Can Sleep Apnea Kill You?

Sleeping is a restorative process that helps your body get ready for the day ahead. Traditionally, if you are getting a full night of sleep, you will feel well rested and energized the next morning. However, if you have sleep apnea, this may not be the case. Can Sleep Apnea Kill You? Sleep apnea is a disorder where your breathing suddenly stops and starts repeatedly throughout the night. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, and it occurs when throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea happens when your brain fails to signal the breathing response to your muscles. Lastly, complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of both central and obstructive sleep apnea. Regardless of which type of sleep apnea you have, they are all potentially serious conditions that can lead to significant health complications.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

There are a variety of signs of sleep apnea. They include but are not limited to loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, having a dry mouth or headache when you wake up, insomnia, irritability, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Additionally, if you live or sleep with someone else, they can keep track of whether you stop breathing in your sleep. But the big question is; can sleep apnea kill you?

Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea

Some people are more likely to develop sleep apnea than others. One risk factor of developing sleep apnea is being overweight. When you are overweight, the fatty tissues that exist around your respiratory system restricts air flow through your body as you sleep.

Next, if you frequently use intoxicants or smoke, muscle relaxation and throat irritation can block the airway and make it more difficult to breathe. Additionally, if you are of older age, muscle tone in the throat begins to weaken and lessen, thus making sleep apnea more possible due to potential airway collapse.

Lastly, if you have a family history of sleep apnea, you may be more likely to develop it. If you fall under one or more of these categories and are experiencing some of the signs or symptoms listed above, it’s essential you visit an orthodontist in Buffalo or physician who can help you with your possible condition, as it is potentially fatal.

Can Sleep Apnea Kill You?

Sleep apnea is potentially dangerous especially if left untreated. When you stop breathing when you sleep, you are restricting oxygen from the body. Sleep apnea, when in combination with high blood pressure or other harmful conditions like diabetes, could increase your chance of complications while you sleep.

Such complications include being at higher risk of heart attack, having abnormal liver conditions, and being susceptible to difficulties with medication and surgeries. Though death simply due to sleep apnea is not likely, it is possible for sleep apnea to kill you if you end up developing the life-threatening conditions mentioned above.

Sleep Disorder Treatment

If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it’s vital to visit a doctor who can help you come up with a treatment plan. Some of the most common treatment options in Orthodontics for sleep apnea, include the use of a CPAP machine or oral appliance.

CPAP machines, or Continuative Positive Airway Pressure machines, force air through your airway when you’re sleeping. This ensures your body receives adequate oxygen throughout the entire night. An oral appliance is a face piece that holds the jaw in an ideal position, so the tongue is aligned properly. This keeps your airway from becoming blocked when you sleep. When you visit your doctor, they will identify what treatment course would be most beneficial for you.

Treat Your Sleep Disorder Today

If you believe you suffer from sleep apnea and are looking for a medical professional to treat your condition, OrthoWNY can help you. Our trained staff and orthodontists know how to treat sleep apnea effectively and in an individualized manner.

Call or contact us at Orthodontists Associates of WNY to schedule an free consultation appointment today.

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