Why is sleep apnea dangerous?

This question was asked in Dayton, Tennessee on 08/01/2013.
I have been told that since I snore at night, I need to be tested for sleep apnea. What exactly is sleep apnea, is it just snoring? I've been snoring loudly all of my life, what makes the possibility of sleep apnea so bad?

Doctors Answers (3)

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 8/22/2013

Sleep apnea is dangerous as it increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Snoring is the vibration of air through your airway and could be an indicator that you have sleep apnea and you should have it checked. Untreated sleep apnea can exacerbate high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes and put you at risk driving while drowsy.

Vector Sleep Diagnostics Center
Answered on: 8/2/2013 1

There are several long term consequences of untreated sleep apnea- heart disease, stroke, insomnia and mood changes among others. Sleep apnea is more than just snoring, your breathing may stop and become shallow for a period of time, this results in changes in your blood oxygen (decreases) and overall reduction in blood circulation to the brain, heart and other vital organs. The best advise is to get tested in a credentialed sleep lab to make an accurate diagnosis. Best of luck to you.

Joseph Lee, DDS, FICOI
Answered on: 8/2/2013 1

Sleep Apnea is a medical condition where you stop breathing when you sleep. This can be "Obstructive" in nature where soft tissue blocks your airway or it can be "Central" where your brain stops sending signals for you to breathe. If you snore, you have approximately a 50% chance of having sleep apnea. People who can't breathe can possibly die from this condition. Aside from this, there are other health conditions that can arise from this condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.