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Can someone die from apnea?

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My wife recently hasn't been feeling good. She bought an oxymeter to measure O2 saturation. She now consistently sleeps w/this on her finger every night. She claims she wakes out of sleep suddenly and sees that her oxygen falls to numbers below 90%, sometimes as low at 78-80. When she walks around it goes back up. She went for part 1 of sleep test and told she has sleep apnea (maybe due to asthma). She is intense that her oxygen is falling and going to die, and wants to go to the hospital every night. I need to know how true and accurate is this OXYMETER? Is she interpreting it correctly? Is it normal for her O2 level to fall during phases of sleep? She is driving us crazy, and it can either be very serious, or just not right at all. Last night she forgot to put it on, and slept the whole night thru. I am not ready to say its in her head, so please advise. How dangerous is this, if at all. Is this meter right? Can someone die from apnea? ie suffocate during their sleep? Help! Th


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replied October 18th, 2014
Sleep Disorders Answer A49617
Thank you for consulting e-healthforum. Oxygen saturation in the blood can drop during apnea episode while asleep. Sleep apnea by itself does not cause death directly, even though there is an association with some conditions. The main problem in sleep apnea is poor quality of sleep. Sleeping with pulse oxymeter has no point since she knows her numbers only when she wakes up. It generates only unnecessary anxiety. Her sleep apnea has to be treated if severe enough.


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