What are the Risks Associated with Untreated Sleep Apnea?

What are the Risks Associated with Untreated Sleep Apnea?

Can Sleep Apnea Kill you? 

Although sleep apnea is unlikely to lead to a person's death, it does have a detrimental effect on the cardiovascular system, resulting in increased risk of sudden cardiac death. If sleep apnea is not treated, it can also increase the risk of a stroke. 

What is Sleep Apnea? 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep disorder (affecting about 30 million people in the US.). During OSA, the tissues of the upper airway—the tongue, soft palate, and uvula—collapse into the throat and block the normal airflow. 

Central Sleep Apnea is a pause in breathing can be caused by a brainstem problem, severe obesity, or opioid painkillers, which temporarily prevents the respiratory muscles from working. 

What are the health risks? 

  • Heart Health : Stoppages in breathing may trigger cardiac arrhythmia that leads to cardiac arrest. It can also lead to atrial fibrillation or even a stroke.
  • Chronic Health Risks: Sleep apnea can increase the chance of hypertension, diabetes, and heart problems, according to research. 
  • Alzheimer's and Depression: If untreated, OSA has also been linked to depression and memory problems like Alzheimer's disease.
  • Accidents: It causes increased daytime sleepiness and that  may contribute to accidents. 

Effective Treatment Option: CPAP

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a variety of dangerous health situations. That is why protecting your health by treating sleep apnea is important. Treatment with a CPAP machine (a machine that provides continuous positive airway pressure to help you breathe better) appears to lower the chances of serious complications and the chances that OSA will lead to long-term cardiac problems. 


If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials.

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