Dental sleep medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the treatment of sleep disorders and disturbances with an oral appliance. One common problem that health care providers trained in sleep medicine focus on is sleep deprivation. This occurs when a person fails to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to many problems…
Ask a Family Dentist: Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary?
If you have sleep apnea you might be wondering if it can be inherited. The answer is that it can be because many sleep apnea factors are hereditary. Learning about what causes sleep apnea can help you understand this. Read on to learn more.
Genetic and sleep apnea
One factor that can cause sleep apnea is having a narrow airway. Other people have extra tissue in the throat. This can be inherited from the parents. These factors make someone more likely to have sleep apnea.
Each person inherits half of the genes from the father and half from the mother. An individual’s genetic makeup determines the physical structure. It also determines how vulnerable a person is to some types of diseases. People can be more at risk for one disease than the individual sitting next to them. Sleep apnea works the same way. Some people have inherited risk factors for sleep apnea, such as being overweight.
Snoring and genetics
Sleep apnea and snoring are closely linked. Both often happen when the airway is partially blocked. In snoring, these parts of the airway vibrate as the air rushes past. When the tissues are relaxed, they are more likely to move. Snoring is determined by the shape of a person’s airway. The shape of the airway is determined by family history.
One study looked at snorers to determine whether or not the snorers had a family history. The researchers found that people who had a family history were the most likely to snore. The study found that snoring has a hereditary component. This means that sleep apnea, too, has a genetic component.
Sleep apnea causes
In understanding sleep apnea, it is important to know about the three different types. Each one has different causes. In general, the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. Medical conditions can cause other types of sleep apnea.
- Central sleep apnea: people who have heart failure are more likely to have this form. This happens when the brain does not send signals to tell the body to breathe
- Obstructive sleep apnea: this is one of the more common types of sleep apnea. It happens when part of the airway is blocked
- Complex sleep apnea: when an individual has both central and obstructive sleep apnea, it is called complex sleep apnea. To treat this type of sleep apnea, a doctor must treat both central and obstructive sleep apnea
Sometimes, drugs can also cause sleep apnea. For example, opioids can limit the brain’s ability. A high altitude can cause breathing issues. These issues can cause central sleep apnea.
Get sleep apnea treatment today
Knowing what causes your sleep apnea is the first step toward treating it. For example, maybe other family members have excess tissue at the backs of their throats. This makes you more likely to have the problem as well. Once you and your doctor have worked through the potential causes, you can determine the right treatment plan.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sleep Apnea in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
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