How Dangerous Can Sleep Apnea Get?

While not all of us can exactly tell what sleep apnea is, we can’t deny the fact that almost the entire world population can recognize what snoring is even from a relative distance. You may even have vivid memories of old uncles and grandfathers sleeping on the couch or the recliner taking a nap and letting out the awfully loud and annoying snoring sound from your childhood years. Nothing much has changed, actually. Today, a big percentage of the population still suffers from the wrath of sleep apnea and many still remain undiagnosed, despite testing facilities being available. A lot of older people just dismiss it as mere snoring, something that should not raise any alarm bells at all. How mistaken is that? You can actually die in your sleep because of sleep apnea. Although not all snorers have sleep apnea, most patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea snore. So to stay on the safe side, better get yourself checked.

If you do have sleep apnea, don’t just dismiss it as a mere nuisance or a discomfort to you and those around you that you just have to live with. It is a serious condition that needs prompt treatment. If you don’t know it yet, people with sleep apnea literally stop breathing in their sleep. Their brain has to make the most difficult and risky decision of choosing between sleep and breathing. That’s how deadly this condition is. To better understand what sleep apnea is, it is a sleep disorder that is characterized by shallow breathing or breathing pauses while you are sleeping. And it happens multiple times throughout your sleep. So imagine the number of times your brain has to decide whether to let you live or just sleep for good each night.

Sleep apnea impacts millions of people in the United States and the city of San Antonio is not immune. 

Brosnan said within the University Health System, “we actually have close to 500 people waiting to be seen in the sleep clinic through referrals within the system.”

Sleep apnea can also impact other aspects of a person’s health if the problem is not treated. The condition can place stress on the patient’s heart and may set them up for a heart attack or stroke. Brosnan says there is also a link between obesity and sleep apnea. The disorder can also impact patients with diabetes. 

“As your body is more stressed as it’s sleeping, your sugar levels can rise. So that can contribute to worsening diabetes,” Brosnan said. 


Just make sure you are familiar with the symptoms of sleep apnea. It is not just simply snoring. Symptoms like gasping or choking in your sleep, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, irritability, and learning and memory issues are some of the physical manifestations of sleep apnea. Remember that this is a medical condition, so don’t forget paying your doctor a visit to confirm your suspicions and get treated for it once and for all. Some people die of sleep apnea without them knowing about it and medical practitioners end up blaming another ailment for it when it was sleep apnea that worsened their health to the point of no return.

“I still don’t know if he had a stroke or heart attack but it brought home the point that sleep apnea is deadly,” the author of “Sinus Relief Now,” tells Newsmax Health.

“Sleep apnea and snoring are processes that starve the brain and the heart of oxygen. As a result, they are the number one cause for heart attack and stroke. In addition, they can lead to heart arrthymias, fatigue, depression, sinus problems and problems functioning at school and at work.”

Josephson adds that sleep apnea can also wreak havoc with romantic relationships and is a leading medical cause of separation and divorce.

“Partners are forced to sleep in separate bedrooms because of the snoring and many become frightened when their spouse stops breathing,” he explains. “While sleep apnea is more common in older folks, it affects between 25 to 40 percent of the population including children.”


Imagine if you are an elderly person already riddled with a handful of maladies that make living double harder, plus you also have sleep apnea. It increases your chances of suffering from a deadly heart attack or a stroke since your brain or heart is constantly deprived of oxygen. Not only that, it likewise predisposes you to other medical conditions that can precipitate a medical emergency in the near future. And it is not only your health that suffers because of it. Your romantic relationship is also compromised especially with couples who live together as your spouse will likely have a hard time getting a decent shut-eye each night with your loudly snoring permeating the room throughout the night.

While more often than not, a congenital anomaly is the reason why you have it. Surgery is not the only option to erase sleep apnea in the equation once and for all. However, there are various choices for its treatment. An endoscopy may be ordered first before you are prescribed with CPAP. If CPAP is not your thing and you feel it is too bulky and make sleep more uncomfortable or simply because you don’t like it, don’t feel guilty about it: You can always resort to the more popular and handy alternatives like anti-snoring mouthpieces. is an excellent choice and you can sleep soundly at night once more knowing you’ll get another leash in life the next day after a good night’s sleep.

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