What caused Carrie Fisher’s death?
Carrie Fisher died four days after suffering a heart attack while flying from London to Los Angeles.
Fisher slept for the majority of the journey and experienced some respiratory episodes (apneas) during this time, which was deemed usual for her, according to her aide.
Fisher could not be readily roused towards the end of the flight. She began to vomit when she was awoken, then slumped over and became unconscious. These are signs and symptoms of a heart attack among female patients.
Since her death, relatives, friends, and fans have been wondering about the reason of death. Fisher had mental health issues and was addicted to drugs throughout her life. So, many people felt her death was related to her drug use. And it has been, to some extent. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office released its report, which indicated a number of events that contributed to the death of the popular actress.
While drug use was highlighted in the report, the revelation that sleep apnea and heart illness were important contributors has raised fresh concerns for many.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly interrupted during sleep. Depending on the severity of the disorder, it can lead to daytime sleepiness, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Can you actually die from sleep apnea?
Some argue that apnea does not necessarily cause death in sleep, because the body detects that it is not obtaining enough oxygen during sleep, it wakes up. The breathing airways open and breathing resumes at this point. You have no risk of suffocating in your sleep because of this process.
However, that isn’t the point. It’s like to claiming that AIDS does not kill people. People die as a result of HIV’s unavoidable sequelae. This is also true for those who have diabetes: diabetes does not cause death; it is a long-term condition that causes poor quality of life, impairment, pain, malfunction, and a shorter lifespan.
Know the warning signs
The most common warning signs of sleep apnea are loud snoring, gasping, and/or prolonged pauses in breathing. Many sleep apnea patients suffer headaches, excessive daytime sleepiness, and memory loss because of lack of oxygen while sleeping.
If you were to make a recording of your snoring sound for a few days, you might get a crude idea of what a person with sleep apnea goes through every single night. Not only do these individuals have to deal with excessive daytime sleepiness, but studies show that they are at an increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or even death from cardiovascular disease. In fact, it has been said that almost 4% of all people who die from heart-related problems suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is serious and potentially fatal — and there are warning signs that you should be aware of.
What we can learn from Carrie Fisher’s death?
Carrie Fisher’s death was caused by a perfect storm of events, all of which revolved around the fundamental issue of undiagnosed and/or untreated sleep apnea. The ASAA is appreciative to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office for identifying sleep apnea as the primary cause of death.
“I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles,” Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, said after the coroner’s findings was released last week.
It’s conceivable that Carrie Fisher, who has advocated for the removal of the stigma around mental health, would campaign for the removal of the shame surrounding snoring. Snoring is a prominent sign of undiagnosed sleep apnea that should not go ignored by family members and doctors..
If you or a loved one snores loudly and regularly, has undiagnosed and chronic high blood pressure, gasps or chokes while sleeping, has long-term daytime weariness, or wakes up with a dry mouth, raw throat, or headache, don’t rule out sleep apnea.
Simple home testing can help rule out (or confirm) the illness, and there are several treatment options for this persistent medical problem.