Healthy Living

It Happened to Carrie Fisher. How Possible Is It to Die from Sleep Apnea?

It Happened to Carrie Fisher. How Possible Is It to Die from Sleep Apnea?

Was the official cause of death to Carrie Fisher really obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? Is it possible to die from sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can be a potentially dangerous sleep disorder. Throughout the night, when a patient's breathing stops and starts and they snore loudly, feeling tired a majority of time, they are ultimately disrupting their body's restorative processes, which makes their body at risk for some serious complications.

Because of this, it is definitely possible to die from sleep apnea.

The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) is trying to learn more about what happened to Carrie Fisher so they can help teach others about sleep apnea, which is a widespread medical condition. The ASAA's mission is to focus on finding a cure for sleep apnea, to find a cure to avoid the death of thousands of people like Carrie Fisher.

Carrie Fisher died on December 27, 2016, just four short days after suffering a heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles. Carrie’s assistant told examiners that during most of the flight Carrie suffered respiratory events or apneas during her sleep. But, the assistant stated that this was normal for Carrie. Other articles published at the time suggested that Carrie was potentially unaware of her sleep apnea and was not actively treating it.

Her assistant and the plane staff could not awaken Carrie when her plane arrived. However, when briefly aroused, Carrie began to vomit and slumped over totally unresponsive, which are signs of heart attacks in women. Still, everyone concerned with Carrie Fisher wanted to know more about what really happened. Carrie had suffered from mental health problems and drug addiction through most of her life and many assumed drugs contributed to her death.

The autopsy revealed that cocaine, methadone, and alcohol contributed to her death as well, but the main influencing factors to her death were heart disease and sleep apnea.

Damage to your organs will occur if you use illicit drugs throughout your life, and these damaged organs eventually equal sleep apnea. Opiates depress the respiratory system during sleep, which relies on involuntary brain function to keep it healthy. Alcohol is a respiratory depressant that should never be used before sleep. Cocaine damages the structure of nasal and upper airways that leads to this collapse of tissues in sleep apnea.

Don't disregard it. Sleep apnea can definitely cause death

Arguments tell you that death from sleep apnea is not a possibility. It is said that when you stop breathing, you are not getting enough oxygen during sleep and your body forces you to wake up. While your breathing airways open and you resume breathing, sleep apnea can still support a number of different complications.

Read on to learn more about why it is possible to die from sleep apnea. Just like Carrie Fisher.

Photo Source: RIP Carrie Fisher by Sami Keinänen