Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can have severe consequences for your health. It is characterized by periods of stopped breathing during sleeping.
Various factors, including genetic factors, can cause it. But is sleep apnea genetic? Let’s explore the answer with Repopny through this article.
- 1 Three Kinds Of Sleep Apnea
- 2 Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Run in Families?
- 3 Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
- 4 Does Sleep Apnea In Children Run In Families?
- 5 Other Factors That Contribute
- 6 Scientific Facts To Think About
- 7 OSA Treatment Options
- 8 Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Conclusion
Three Kinds Of Sleep Apnea
Only obstructive sleep apnea is genetic among the three kinds:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most prevalent type and it happens when the neck muscles relax during sleep, leaving less room to breathe.
- Central Sleep Apnea occurs when your brain does not deliver the proper electrical signals to your muscles to tell them to breathe while you are sleeping. It is not handed down genetically, according to scientific studies. “Genetic factors may play a role in some of the underlying causes of it, such as certain cardiac conditions. On the other hand, most of the reasons do not appear to be genetic, and there is minimal evidence that it is hereditary.”
- Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (Treatment-emergent Central Sleep Apnea): This happens when you have obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Run in Families?
“The chance of getting OSA is roughly 50 percent higher for first-degree relatives (such as siblings or children) of affected persons than for the general public,” according to Medlineplus.
The family into which you are born influences your chances of acquiring. Learning more about disorders sleeping and how they are treated is one method to assist your family and yourself.
Keep a journal if you’re more at risk for a disorder of sleeping and want to make sure you’re getting the necessary amount of sleep for your age. Allow a specialist to analyze you if you discover that you wake up many times every night or have difficulty getting or staying asleep.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
According to research, there are unique risk factors for OSA, which include inheriting:
- The midface length is shorter.
- Brachycephaly is a condition that affects people (a flat back of head infant syndrome)
- An enormous tongue or a tongue that is larger in comparison to the rest of your mouth and throat.
- The bones of the maxilla are shorter (in the cheeks on either side of the nose)
- Your mandibles’ length and position (bones in your lower jaw)
- The position of your hyoid bones (the bones in your throat)
As you can see, there are various ways that bones can shape your face and throat, which all contribute to OSA. Despite your inherent bone and tissue characteristics, there are new medicines for OSA that can help you conquer the challenge of not getting enough sleeping.
Seeing your ENT specialist, who specializes in problems with your face and neck bones, is an excellent place to start. They are experts in non-invasive therapies and operations to alter facial features that may be contributing to your inability to sleep.
Does Sleep Apnea In Children Run In Families?
Infant sleep apnea is a kind that affects children under one year. It could be:
Its symptoms usually improve with maturity and include:
- breathing pauses in the middle of the night
- blue skin, lips, and mouth
- a low heart rate
The etiology in infants is frequently unknown. The following are some of the possible causes and risk factors:
- being born too soon
- having a brainstem that isn’t fully grown, which is the region of the brain that controls breathing
- Lung illness, infection, metabolic abnormalities, or seizures are all examples of underlying medical conditions.
Central newborn sleep apnea can be genetic in some situations.
And, genetics may play a role in underlying risk factors for obstructive infant sleep apnea, such as a narrow airway.
Other Factors That Contribute
A variety of reasons cause OSA. Some may be passed down genetically, while others may result from poor dietary or exercise habits or general ill-health. Obesity is the most common contributing factor.
Obesity runs in families, whether it’s due to poor eating habits or pure genetics. Excess tissues, water weight, and puffiness, in general, might contribute to less room in your throat as you relax your muscles and fall asleep if you have excessive weight on your throat and face.
Obesity does not appear to be the sole cause of OSA. Craniofacial structures (bones in your face and neck) may cause complications by not allowing enough space for your fatty tissues. Because we all have distinct facial shapes, your inherited genetic composition could have a role in whether or not you suffer from OSA.
Scientific Facts To Think About
If you have a higher chance of getting OSA, consult a sleep specialist right away if you have difficulties sleeping. To avoid becoming another statistic, consult an ENT professional who can identify the condition of sleeping and help you find the best treatment options.
Genetic factors were discovered in the article “Disparities and genetic risk factors in OSA,” published in Sleep Medicine.
- Despite having lower obesity rates, Asians tend to have a higher risk of OSA due to their craniofacial form.
- OSA prevalence is higher among African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics due to obesity.
- African Americans are more likely to experience symptoms, mainly increased daytime sleepiness, whereas Hispanics are more likely to snore.
- Limited evidence suggests that African Americans are more likely to develop hypertension due to OSA.
- African American race is associated with a 20% increase in OSA severity and increased oxygen desaturation among young patients examined in an asleep clinic.
- Compared to white children, African American children are 4-6 times more likely to have OSA.
- Even among young persons under the age of 26, African Americans are 88 percent more likely than whites to develop OSA.”
OSA Treatment Options
Regardless of your risk factors, the essential thing to remember is to help OSA. If you’re having difficulties sleeping, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. If you are at risk for OSA, there are treatments available. Consult your doctor to determine which therapies are appropriate for you.
Many medical treatments for OSA might help you fall asleep faster, longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed. Isn’t that what we all need to have happy and productive lives?
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
Based on your symptoms, a healthcare specialist may be able to diagnose sleep apnea. Some of the symptoms listed above, especially if you have obesity, may be sufficient to diagnose.
The doctor may request a sleep history from you and someone who shares a bed or household with you to learn more about what happens while you are sleeping.
They might recommend you to a specialist for an assessment.
Overnight monitoring will be part of the home or sleeping center evaluation. Your heart rate, respiration, oxygen level, and other vital signs will be evaluated as you sleep.
If your doctor suspects you have OSA, they may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to seek the source of the obstruction.
If they suspect you have central sleep apnea, you may need to see a cardiologist or neurologist to rule out other possibilities.
Is it true that sleep apnea runs in families?
According to research, roughly 40% of OSA is due to genetics, which is hereditary. The remaining 60% of underlying causes for this are related to the environment or lifestyle.
How can apnea when sleeping be avoided?
Your doctor may propose lifestyle adjustments for milder types of OSA:
- If you’re overweight, you should lose weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- If you must drink alcohol, do it in moderation.
- Stop smoking.
- Use a nasal decongestant or allergy medicine to relieve congestion.
- Sleeping on your back is not a good idea.
Is obstructive sleep apnea fatal?
“It can directly cause death by causing tissue ischemia (tissue death from lack of oxygen) in the heart and brain, resulting in a fatal heart attack or stroke,” according to the study. R.N., Ph.D. Jenna Liphart Rhoads
Read the full guide to know more detail: Can Sleep Apnea Kill You?
There is no simple answer to whether it is genetic. However, certain risk factors may make someone more likely to develop sleep apnea, including family history.
It is a severe condition that can lead to serious health complications, so it is essential to be aware of the risks. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.