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Can Sleep Apnea Be Hereditary?

June 14, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — parksidedental @ 3:40 pm
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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by recurrent interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions can endure from several seconds to minutes and may happen multiple times throughout the night. This condition impacts a significant number of individuals, with a considerable portion of cases remaining undiagnosed. However, the consequences of sleep deprivation are not the only worry, as untreated sleep apnea can give rise to various other health problems. Given that numerous conditions can have a genetic basis, you might be curious to know if the same applies to sleep apnea. Keep reading to discover whether this sleep condition can be inherited.

What Genetic Factors Contribute to Sleep Apnea?

Various types of sleep apnea exist, with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) being the most prevalent. This persistent condition can be influenced by an array of health and lifestyle choices, including:

  • Circadian rhythm – Your genetic makeup significantly impacts your sleep patterns and sleep quality. This includes your inherent sleep schedule and how effectively you rest during the night.
  • Breathing control – Experts hold the view that genetics might play a role in the muscles and neural signals responsible for breathing. However, the link between genes and breathing control is still not extensively researched and understood.
  • Body fat – Genes can influence body weight and fat distribution, which, in turn, can elevate the risk of developing sleep apnea. Obesity, having a significant genetic component, can increase the likelihood of experiencing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by as much as tenfold.
  • Facial anatomy – Your genes have a role in shaping your face, including factors like skull width, nose length and width, and facial depth. These characteristics can impact the width of your airway, influencing how susceptible it is to becoming blocked.

How Can I Lower My Risk of Sleep Apnea?

While genetic factors can contribute to an increased risk of developing sleep apnea, there are several proactive steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of experiencing this condition, such as:

  • Be mindful of sleep disruptions – Be attentive to factors like higher temperatures, pet dander, room lighting, seasonal allergies, and other similar issues that might be causing disruptions to your sleep.
  • Wear oral appliances – If you experience dental misalignment, using oral appliances can aid in realigning your jaw and improving airflow during sleep. Moreover, consider sleeping on your back instead of on your side, as it can promote smoother breathing.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight – Achieving this can be accomplished by adopting a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients, steering clear of unhealthy foods, and incorporating regular exercise into your routine.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices – Choose healthy lifestyle habits that promote proper breathing during sleep, including avoiding excessive alcohol consumption before you go to sleep and refraining from smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products.

In conclusion, understanding the potential genetic influences on sleep apnea and adopting healthy lifestyle choices can significantly contribute to better sleep quality and overall well-being. By staying informed and making positive changes, you can enhance your sleep health and lead a more fulfilling life. Sweet dreams!

About the Practice

For top-notch dental care in Landrum, look no further than Dr. John Moneyhun and the Parkside Dental team. With board-certified sleep specialists and advanced diagnostic tools, they offer personalized treatment plans to address sleep-related issues effectively. From sleep apnea treatments to routine dental care, they provide a comprehensive range of services to improve your quality of life. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Moneyhun or to learn more about sleep apnea treatment, call Parkside Dental at (864) 457-3901 or visit their website.

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