How is Sleep Apnea Dangerous – Can You Die Because of It?

Many people who suffer from sleep apnea know how risky the situation is. In this condition, the patient has short pauses while breathing in during sleep. Does that mean sleep apnea can kill you? Not really. As dangerous as it sounds, death due to sleep apnea is quite rare. Keep on reading this blog to learn facts about this condition; we are sure it will put you to ease.

Sleep Apnea and Its Types

The body involuntarily stops breathing during sleep. This may happen in multiple instances throughout the night. Normally, an adult may pause breathing 5 times every hour, whereas a child once every 60 minutes.

This pause is considered normal; however, it is best that you get in touch with an expert for an apt assessment of your condition. Sleep apnea is categorized in the following:

  • Central: in this, the brain dysfunctions and fails to send muscle controlling breathing the right signals. The number of incidences is 5-15 times each hour.
  • Obstructive (most common): If, due to any reason, the soft neck or throat tissues grow larger than normal will block the airway. Happens 15-30 times per hour.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea: as the name suggests, it is a complex combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea. More than 30 times each hour.

Can Sleep Apnea Literally Kill You?

You may think recurrent sleeping pauses or apnea can be deadly and may cause direct death, but that is not the case. So no, sleep apnea will not kill you; however, it puts you at high risk of developing fatal conditions as the body becomes weak and unstable.

How Does Sleep Apnea Gradually Kill You?

As mentioned earlier, SA patients do not die off directly due to an episode. But, they become susceptible to diseases that may lead to big troubles. Oxygen deprivation is the main reason for their development.

Long-term Sleep Apnea Risks

It is a known fact that the long-term effects of sleep disorders involving breathing have important health consequences. Issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are among the top ones.

Moreover, improper sleep can also cause depression and memory loss with increased daytime sleepiness.

So, while OSA isn’t fatal on its own, many of the problems it can lead to can threaten your life. That makes treating sleep apnea important for protecting your health.

Short-Term Risks Involved

Short-term effects of breathing cessation induce cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and stroke.

One of the common markers is that the events increase in the morning time, which is REM time- when more sleep apnea events occur. As per research, the risk of sudden death due to sleep apnea is around midnight and 6 a.m. – 2.5 x higher chances.

Final Words

We do not mean to say that sleep apnea will kill you off in an episode. It has certain issues and limitations. Fortunately, treatment with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine tends lower the risk of serious complications, including long-term cardiac issues.

If you want to explore more, talk to a sleep apnea specialist from Nirvana Elite Sleep and Wellness at (832) 952-1199.



Skip to content