Can sleep apnea kill you?

How serious is sleep apnea? Can it really kill you or is this a scare tactic?

– Bernie in Illinois

Bernie,

The short answer is, yes. Sleep apnea can be life threatening if it is left untreated. An individual with obstructive sleep apnea actually stops breathing multiple times each night, sometimes hundreds of time per night. Sleep apnea can cause stroke, high blood pressure, and be a contribute to heart attacks and other serious health problems. When the oxygen levels drop suddenly there is a risk that an individual could die.

There are many ways to successfully treat sleep apnea that range in effectiveness. Surgery, CPAP breathing machines, and oral appliances are all legitimate treatment options. When you meet with your physician, you may be referred to a sleep laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. Then, treatment plans will be presented.

You may not realize it but some dentists offer sleep apnea treatment in their own practices. After you have been officially diagnosed and a prescription written, an oral dental appliance may take care of your condition. This is a non-surgical, safe, and highly effective way to treat it. But first things first, take it very seriously. You do not want to put off getting evaluating another day.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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