A new report suggests that sleep apnea may have contributed to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Dr. David Samadi of the Fox News Medical A-Team joined the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney to discuss what you need to know about the sleep disorder.
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Sleep apnea occurs when oxygen is obstructed from your airways.
“You go in and out of this like a breathing pattern, your brain tells you ‘I need oxygen,’ so it wakes you up,” he said.
While there is no evidence that sleep apnea was the actual cause of Scalia’s death, Dr. Samadi explained how it could have played a role.
“So, 79-year-old man, slight obesity, some diabetes; You add sleep apnea and all of that could be the reason why this unfortunately happened,” he said.
Samadi says more than half of the 12 million people affected by sleep apnea actually have no idea that they have it.
So how do you know you have it?
“So if your girlfriend or your wife constantly [kicks] you in bed because you are snoring and you are choking in bed and you’re gasping for air, that’s probably sleep apnea,” he said.
He also discussed how it could lead to bigger complications.
“When you don’t get enough oxygen and you have some diabetes, vascular issues – all of those can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and can really push you to have [a] heart attack,” he noted.
Samadi says the trick to treating sleep apnea is to visit a sleep lab.
“They monitor you for a couple of days, they see your oxygen levels and then you can get this CPAP machine which is a positive airway pressure. Or you can put the device in your mouth to get the air to go in.”