Did you know that only about 10% of people with obstructive sleep apnea receive treatment? There are a lot of cases of people who have sleep apnea but go undiagnosed. If you have ever thought you may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, you may be wondering, “Is sleep apnea fatal?”
Perhaps you have had friends and family tell you that you need to get checked for sleep apnea because they are worried that you could die in your sleep. This can be very unsettling. To learn more about the dangers of sleep apnea, please keep reading. We offer free consultations for initial meetings with our WNY orthodontists.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Your first indicator that you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea can come in the form of fatigue even though you were asleep for long enough. If you live with someone such as a roommate, family, or a partner, you likely know whether or not you snore.
While snoring is not always an indication that you have sleep apnea, it is a common symptom. You may also have moments in the night where it seems you stop breathing or you are choking on something. These are clearer signs that you may have sleep apnea.
There are two types of sleep apnea. The first is called obstructive sleep apnea, which is when you have something that blocks your airway while you sleep.
The second type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea, which is less common. This is when your brain fails to send signals to your body to keep breathing while you sleep.
You should never ignore signs of sleep apnea. Get checked out right away if you think you have sleep apnea.
Is Undiagnosed and Untreated Sleep Apnea Fatal?
It is not guaranteed that someone with sleep apnea is at risk of it being fatal. However, it certainly is possible. That is because, with this sleep disorder, you are likely short on oxygen. Those with severe sleep apnea are going to be starving their bodies of oxygen while they sleep.
When you do not get enough air while sleeping, you can cause tissue death in the body. The organs that are often impacted by this lack of oxygen are your heart and your brain. Essentially, this puts you at a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
So, is sleep apnea fatal? Technically, yes it can be. However, it is not terminal. You should not consider this to be a death sentence. With proper treatment and monitoring of your symptoms, you can limit the dangers that you face.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea
The primary form of treatment for sleep apnea is a machine that you wear at night that forces air into your lungs through a mouthpiece. These are to be worn every night to keep you getting airflow. The most commonly prescribed machines are the CPAP or the BPAP machines. If these machines do not work, medication may be prescribed, but that is less common.
You may also be required to have surgery if you have obstructive sleep apnea. Surgery can remove fatty tissue that blocks your airway to help you breathe better at night. Some people may even require a nose job to fix a severely deviated septum that blocks off their airways.
Call Our WNY Orthodontists Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been wondering, “Is sleep apnea fatal?” and more about this sleep disorder, please reach out to us right away. We would be happy to get you set up with a free consultation with our WNY orthodontists.
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Orthodontists Associates of Western New York is proud to offer sleep apnea treatment throughout Buffalo, Lancaster, Olean, Hamburg, Orchard Park, Dunkirk, East Aurora, and Niagara Falls New York. If you are looking for a solution to your sleep apnea, please contact one of our 7 convenient orthodontic offices to arrange a free consultation. We are committed to helping you improve your health and maintain a good night’s sleep.