Can insomnia be fatal?
Fatal insomnia is a real but extremely rare genetic sleep disorder that causes rapid progressive loss of nerve cells.. Our sleep medicine expert explains the disease and how diagnosis can sometimes only be made after death.
Between seven and nine hours of sleep are needed each night for most adults, according to sleep experts. Sleep disorders cause “sleep debt” that can result in serious consequences: vehicular crashes and increased risk for heart attack, stroke and obesity to name a few.
Nearly 40 million American men and women suffer from sleep disorders, according to the National Sleep Foundation. One of the most common is sleep apnea, a breathing disorder characterized by brief but repetitive interruptions of breathing during sleep. It may be an underlying cause of heart disease. Researchers believe lack of oxygen during sleep apnea can cause an increase in blood pressure, which can stress your heart and increase the amount of sugar in your blood. Sleep apnea can worsen existing cardiovascular disease.
Some signs of a sleep disorder are:
Our ENT and sleep subspecialists work together with other specialists to provide you with a targeted diagnosis and safe, effective treatment. In fact, the sleep medicine and cardiology researchers at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center were the first to evaluate the impact of common sleep disorders on heart failure patients.
Since we are an academic medical center, the latest research, technology and procedures are often more immediately available to our patients. We offer treatments from non-invasive and relatively simple sleep improvement procedures, like removal of tonsils, to the latest FDA-approved technology. This includes upper airway stimulation – an implantable pacemaker for the hypoglossal nerve (nerve that is associated with the tongue) – which syncs a pulse with every breath taken at night to prevent the tongue from blocking airways in obstructive sleep apnea patients.
OSU Wexner Medical Center is recognized by U.S.News & World Report one of the nation’s best hospitals for care of the ear, nose and throat.
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