Yes, you can die from sleep apnea – due to its link to a life-threatening condition. Some would argue that you might not die from sleep apnea because when your body senses that your body not getting enough oxygen, senses force your body to awaken.
When you awaken, your breathing resumes so there is no chance of suffocating during sleep.
Sleep apnea imbalances your body and brain chemistry, interrupt respiratory system and cardiac rhythms and interrupt your heart function greatly.
These can be the main reason for the death of a person with sleep apnea.
Good news for you is that CPAP treatment got better and more effective than ever.
Before knowing about the complications and consequences of sleep apnea, you should know how much sleep apnea is normal and how much is dangerous.
Breathing interruption events are normal during sleep. In a study, it is found that 18 events per hour are threshold “sufficient to account for excessive daytime sleepiness” and did not account for Apnoea–Hypopnoea Index (AHI).
Five events per hour are normal during sleep but it is enough to increase the risk of developing high blood pressure by 40 to 45%.
Events of sleep apnea
- Normal sleep: <5 events per hour
- Normal sleep apnea: 5 – 14 events per hour
- Moderate sleep apnea: 15 – 29 events per hour
- Severe sleep apnea: > 30 events per hour.
This scale only for adults.
1-4% of children suffer from sleep apnea and most of them aged between 2-8. Children often do not have any sleep apnea events.
More than 1.5 AHI is abnormal. They need treatment if there is AHI being more than 5.
These are some common health problem which is associated with the OSA and these also generally causes of death of the people with sleep apnea.
1. High blood pressure
Sleep apnea can elevate your blood pressure. If you have already had, sleep apnea can make it worse. When you feel episode during the night your sleep disrupts and your body gets stressed.
That makes imbalance in your hormone, which boosts your blood pressure.
OSA episodes produce surges in diastolic and systolic pressure that can elevate mean blood pressure at night. In some people it remains elevated even during the day. . 1
2. Type 2 diabetes
Sleep apnea is very common in people with this condition. More than 80% of people of them have OSA. Now, you conclude on your own. Although studies haven’t shown a link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes.
The study suggests that Sleep Disorder breathing is pathophysiologically linked to glucose homeostasis or diabetes. 2
3. Heart disease
People with sleep apnea are more likely to die from heart stroke. It is estimated that 22 million Americans have suffered from sleep apnea and most of them are undiagnosed.
Some statistics show that at least 38,000 people die annually from heart disease which causes by sleep apnea.
4. Weight gain
Bad night sleep can raise your chances of getting an extra pound and make harder to slim down.
When you are overweight, fat deposits in your neck that block airway when you lie down.
On the other hand sleep apnea can make you release more of the ghrelin hormone, which makes you feel hungry. And when you tired and eat more, your body might not be able to turn food into energy efficiency and can lead you to weight gain. 5.
But some changes in diet, such as not eating junk foods and drinking water instead of soda or sugary drinks, and engaging with exercise can reduce the chances of weight gain.
But OSA treatment and more energy exercise can help you lose weight.
5. Car accidents.
Sleep apnea major symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness and lack of energy. When you feel foggy, your chances of falling asleep at wheel increases.
People with sleep apnea are at five times higher risk of having traffic accident than normal people.
The crash-rate ratio associated with OSA is 2% to 5%, while the crash-rate risk for a commercial driver is 0.08 crashes per year. 6
6. Mental illness
Sleep apnea can interrupt neurochemical function in the brain and this can lead you to depression and mood disorders.
Chemical imbalance can cause a mood swing of people with sleep apnea. The mental health issue of which is the result of untreated sleep apnea may lead to the use of drug and alcohol. 7[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Sources (4)” less_text=”Source”]
- American Sleep Apnea Association “Children’s Sleep Apnea” “https://www.sleepapnea.org/treat/childrens-sleep-apnea/”
- American Sleep Apnea Association ” “https://www.sleepapnea.org/carrie-fisher-yes-you-can-die-from-sleep-apnea/”
- “Sleep-disordered breathing and cardiovascular disease: cross-sectional results of the Sleep Heart Health Study.” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11208620”
- NCBI “Obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea and incident stroke: the sleep heart health study.” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20339144”
- NCBI “Prevalence of sleep apnea in a population of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17669711”
- NCBI “Type 2 diabetes, glycemic control, and continuous positive airway pressure in obstructive sleep apnea.” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15738376”
- NCBI “Obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension: mechanisms, evaluation, and management.” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18367017”
- NCBI “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Obesity: Implications for Public Health” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5836788/”
- NCBI “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792976/”
- NCBI “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Psychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review” “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4298774/”