Are you always tired despite sleeping all night? Maybe you’ve been told you snore every night? You might be among the 22 million adults who are living with obstructive sleep apnea. If you don’t get sleep apnea treatment in Lutz, adequate rest isn’t the only thing you’ll lose. The condition can also lead to serious health concerns, like cardiovascular disease. Although the disorder can affect anyone, there are certain factors that increase your risk of it, like your family history. Here’s how your genetics might make you more prone to the sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common condition that occurs when there are pauses in breathing frequently throughout the night. The two types include:
- Central Sleep Apnea: The brain does not send the proper signals to the muscles responsible for breathing.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The soft tissues in the back of the mouth or throat collapse to block the airway.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
There is usually an underlying medical issue that causes central sleep apnea; however, for obstructive sleep apnea, there are various risk factors that make it more likely, including:
- Lifestyle factors
- Large neck circumference
- Being male
What Role Does Genetics Play in Sleep Apnea?
Genetics can contribute to your likeliness of developing sleep apnea because of risk factors linked to your family history, like heart problems. People who are predisposed to cardiovascular disease or congestive heart failure have an increased risk of central sleep apnea.
Genetics can play a large role in obstructive sleep apnea as well. In fact, about 40% of cases are genetically linked. Research shows the more relatives who have the disorder, the more likely you are to develop it. Researchers don’t understand directly how genetics increases the risk, but hereditary factors, like obesity, are often a leading cause. In addition, families who have thicker necks may naturally have narrower airways, increasing the likeliness for the disorder.
Although genetics can contribute to the development of sleep apnea, having risk factors doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get the disorder. It is important to remain vigilant to seek treatment right away at the first sign of a symptom, like waking with a headache or chronic snoring. Your dentist will help you find the solutions you need to breathe easier.
Breathe Better Tonight
If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, don’t lose another night’s rest. Contact your sleep specialist today to breathe better.
About Dr. Jay A. Nelson
Dr. Jay A. Nelson specializes in sleep dentistry. He is a member of various organizations, including the American Sleep and Breathing Academy and American Sleep and Breathing Academy. If you believe you’re suffering from sleep apnea, he offers the personalized solutions you need to breathe easier. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for treatment.