Can Sleep Apnea Kill You While Dozing Off At Night?

December 15, 2022

Sleep apnea, although a very dangerous condition is most likely to not kill you. However, if you leave it untreated, this condition may turn into a fatality.

It is a sleep disorder which occurs when the patient’s breathing pattern is interrupted during sleep. This leads to the person waking up frequently throughout the night, leading to poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue.

Moreover, sleep apnea increases the risk of other health problems, like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, or diabetes; or in severe cases, – death.

How Many People Die from Sleep Apnea Every Year?

It’s highly unlikely for sleep apnea to turn deadly, it usually does not kill an adult. However, untreated conditions greatly contribute to death?

According to The American Sleep Apnea Association around 38,000 die each year from heart disease afflicted by sleep apnea. This condition increases the chances of getting a heart attack or even death by 30% over a period of around 4-5 years.

Types of Sleep Apnea

It is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. There are 3 main kinds of sleep apnea:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): By far the most common type seen in patients. It occurs when the throat muscles in the back fail to keep the airway open during sleep, leading to recurrent episodes of partial or complete block of the airways.

Central sleep apnea (CSA): This type occurs when the brain does not send proper signals to the muscles which are supposed to control breathing. Therefore, the person experiences periods of shallow or absent breathing while sleeping.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome (CompSAS): Now things are getting serious. This type is also referred to as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, a complex of OSA and CSA.


Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime fatigue

Treatment for sleep apnea

Your specialist may offer several treatment options for your specific kind of sleep apnea, and they will choose the best treatment for you based on the severity of your condition.

Moreover, treatment selection greatly depends on any underlying health conditions you may have as well. Some common treatment options include:

Lifestyle changes

It is the first line of treatment. Modifying your way of living, such as eating habits, losing weight, smoking cessation, and avoiding alcohol as well as sedatives, can help improve sleep apnea.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy

A common route for treating sleep apnea. The therapy involves a machine to flow air through a mask constantly.

The mask is worn over the nose or mouth during sleep. The air flow helps keep the airway open and prevent episodes of apnea.

Oral appliances

These devices are specifically worn in the mouth to help keep your airway open. It does so by repositioning your jaw and tongue. This treatment option is a good fit if your condition is mild to moderate.

Surgical Resort

For some cases, surgery is a viable option to remove excess tissue in the throat which is blocking the airway. Other than that, surgery helps to repair structural abnormalities that cause sleep apnea.

To Sum It Up

You must not ignore your condition and work with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment plan for your sleep apnea so that it does not end up killing you. A sleep apnea specialist from Briar Forest can help you if you live in Houston TX. call (713) 784-4430 to connect with us.

We are proud to serve patients from all nearby communities, including Briar Forest, The Memorial Villages, Memorial City, Westchase, and Walnut Bend.


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