Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?
If your family struggles with sleep apnea, you may wonder if the condition runs in your genes. Regularly interrupted breathing during sleep has serious long-term health implications. Yet many with the condition remain undiagnosed and untreated. Researchers have discovered that multiple genes may contribute to obstructive sleep apnea, the most prevalent form. When any of these genes is present, the chances that someone will develop sleep apnea increase significantly; studies have demonstrated this fact; having one parent, sibling or child with sleep apnea increases your risk by up to 50%! Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when throat muscles collapsing during sleep and blocking off airways, known as collapsing and collapsing during sleep. Genes play a part in muscle tone of the throat, which in turn influences how quickly and easily muscles relax during sleep, leading to OSA. Furthermore, having smaller or narrower throats increases risk.Central sleep apnea tends to be less genetic, with brain structures no longer communicating effectively with muscles that assist breathing. This may be caused by various factors including alcohol or drug abuse, obesity and age. Lifestyle changes may help lower risk for both forms of sleep apnea. While genetic makeup can increase one's chances of sleep apnea, environmental factors like obesity, age and sexual activity (with men being particularly at risk) play a much bigger part. Although environmental factors increase one's odds for developing sleep apnea significantly, they do not impact every individual equally. Sleep apnea can be a serious medical condition that needs prompt diagnosis and treatment in order to avoid long-term health problems. If you or a loved one exhibit signs of this sleep disorder, be sure to discuss all available treatment options, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment and hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HGNS) treatment, with your doctor or The Air Station immediately. Visit The Air Station website for more information about this sleep apnea condition, and find out if it affects you or not. If it does, reach out and arrange an appointment with The Air Station right away! The Air Station will conduct an assessment and physical exam before suggesting a sleep study to ascertain what's causing the issue. With proper treatment in place, you'll soon enjoy good night’s sleep.