Is Sleep Apnea Really Hereditary
A sleep apnea study has found that roughly 40 percent of the disorder can be attributed to genetics the other 60 percent is related to your environment or your lifestyle. In other words, while genetics is far from the only reason you might suffer from sleep apnea, it is a significant risk factor. That said, while the link has been clearly established, its not entirely clear which genes are responsible.
It should also be pointed out that some of the underlying causes for sleep apnea might be linked to your genes. For example, some people are predisposed to obesity. This, in turn, can make them more likely to suffer from sleep apnea since being overweight can increase the risk of tissues or muscles in your mouth and throat relaxing and falling back on the airway.
Is Sleep Apnea Genetic
Considering conditions are most often passed on from generation to generation in families, it would make sense for sleep apnea to be hereditary. This notion is correct in that there is a strong possibility it can in fact be passed down. Studies have suggested that variations in multiple genes, each with a small effect, combine to increase the risk of developing the condition. However, it is unclear what contribution each of these genetic changes makes to the risk of having the disease. Most of the variations were identified in single studies, and subsequent research has not verified them.
So, is sleep apnea a genetic disorder? There isnt enough data to outright say so one way or the other. But, there is a physical genetic aspect to take into account that could provide support on the notion.
The Role Of Weight Loss In Treating Sleep Apnea
Weight loss can help all obstructive sleep apnea patients, no matter the severity level. In one study, a 10% weight loss predicted a 26% decrease in AHI . People who are overweight are likely to have excess tissue in the back of their throat, contributing to obstructive sleep apnea and by losing that weight, a person can effectively alter their anatomy, causing symptoms to be drastically reduced, though not eliminating sleep apnea entirely in most cases.
The challenge for anyone with sleep apnea is that the condition can make weight loss particularly difficult. Not only does it make the sufferer tired, reasonably causing a lack of motivation to exercise, but it has also been shown to affect eating habits. When were sleep-deprived, the hormones that manage appetite can fluctuate, causing someone to need to consume more calories than if they were well rested in order to feel satisfied, which leads to weight gain. This creates an unfortunate cycle in which a person feels tired, eats more, and continually gains weight, worsening their sleep apnea symptoms.
So, in order to get out of this cycle, the first step for many patients is to not only start a diet and exercise program, but to also begin proper sleep apnea treatment so they have the energy and will to maintain new, healthy habits.
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When Do You Need To See A Sleep Dentist
You should get in touch with a sleep dentist if youre told that you snore loudly at night or if you frequently notice symptoms such as daytime fatigue, general irritability, choking or gasping in your sleep, memory loss, or waking up in the middle of the night. These symptoms can all have various causes, so youll need to be properly diagnosed before sleep apnea treatment can begin.
You should never take chances when it comes to a disorder that prevents you or your loved ones from getting an all-important nights rest. If anyone in your family has suffered from sleep apnea before, make sure that youre aware of the various risk factors and warning signs that could be telling you to schedule an appointment with your sleep dentist right away!
Think Your Dna Could Be Messing With Your Sleep
Genetic testing is the only way to know for certain whether your genes are scaring away the sandman. But a chat with family members could help you determine if youre genetically predisposed to insomnia. Talk to as many relatives as possible: the more information you can gather, the better-equipped youll be to tackle the problem, Cralle said. And if you encounter any family members who have trouble sleeping, ask them what remedies they rely on to get a good nights sleep.
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Genetics And Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be due to certain conditions or habits, such as smoking, high blood pressure, or chronic nasal congestion. However, sleep apnea is often an inherited condition. This means that if one or both of your parents have sleep apnea, you have a good chance of developing it. Sleep apnea can be inherited in two ways: directly and indirectly.
How To Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that needs to be treated. Your medical provider or a sleep doctor can help you select a treatment plan that is right for you. Depending on the treatment, she may work in collaboration with other members of the sleep team, including dentists, psychologists, physician assistants, nurses and technologists. Your plan may include any combination of these treatments:
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Larks Owls And Genetics
Dr. Anne-Marie Chang describes how certain genes can affect whether an individual feels more alert and active in the morning or in the evening.
Although genetics plays an important role in whether you are a morning or evening type, there are several other factors that influence this characteristic. Age, daily work or school schedules, and other environmental, lifestyle, and social factors all play a role.
Does Sleep Apnea Run In The Family
Maybe you grew up with a parent that had to undergo sleep apnea treatment at some point. Or maybe youre a parent yourself that has recently had to wrestle with the disorder. In either case, theres most likely a nagging question in your mind: can sleep apnea be passed down from parent to child? Knowing well in advance to watch out for signs of sleep apnea could end up saving you from serious health issues later down the line. Heres what you need to know about the role that genetics does play in the development of a sleep disorder.
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Positional Sleep Apnea Treatment
For some patients with mild to moderate OSA, their sleeping position may mean the difference between experiencing apnea and getting restful sleep. When you sleep on your back your airway tissues have to fight against gravity at the same time as apnea, making it easier to collapse and stop breathing.
If your sleep study reveals that your OSA is made worse by your sleep position, your doctor or sleep specialist may recommend positional therapy as one of your treatment options.
With positional therapy, youre encouraged to sleep on your side, reducing the number and severity of apnea events.
The simplest form of positional therapy includes placing an item behind your lower back, to prevent you from changing positions. For something a little more advanced, devices like the Philips NightBalance use vibrational feedback to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
You wear the palm-size device comfortably across your chest while sleeping. When you shift onto your back, the NightBalance sends vibrations to prompt you to change positions. It is gentle enough to not wake you up but intense enough to ensure you sleep in a healthy and safe position.
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Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary A Look In Sleep Apnea And If You Can Be Born With It
While there are many factors that can contribute to sleep apnea, there is a strong possibility that it can in fact be hereditary. A family history of this serious condition is not something to take lightly and certainly something you want to discuss with your doctor or seek guidance for. Were here to ease your mind and answer the questions you may have surrounding the condition if a family member suffers from it.
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Genetics Heredity And Other Apneas
There are three types of sleep apneas. Now that you know about the most common one, OSA, lets have a look at the other two: Central Sleep Apnea and Mixed or Complex Sleep Apnea. The latter is sometimes referred to as CompSA to not confuse it with CSA.
With a condition like CSA or CompSA, theres something other than a blocked airway to consider. At least some of the time, the brain isnt sending the signal to breathe. There could be any number of reasons for this including:
- Cheyne-Stokes Breathing. With Cheyne-Stokes Breathing, over time breathing effort and intensity gradually decreases and eventually leads to a point where no breathing occurs. Cheyne-Stokes Breathing generally occurs among individuals who have congestive heart failure or stroke.
- Opioid Treatments. Sometimes people undergoing opioid treatment experience CSA, as the opioids treating the disease have a side effect of seizing the rest of the body. Opioids can impact the brains ability to send a signal to the lungs to breathe, and the result is CSA.
- High Altitudes. Sometimes merely being at a high altitude can create a Cheyne-Stokes Breathing pattern, which can cause CSA.
There have been no direct links found between heredity and CSA or CompSA, although there certainly are links between heredity and some of their underlying causes.
What Is Sleep Apnea
Before diving into is apnea hereditary? lets do a quick refresh on what exactly sleep apnea is. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition in which your breathing repeatedly starts and stops while sleeping. Typical symptoms or signs you may have sleep apnea are loud snoring, lack of energy, daytime sleepiness , morning headaches or depression. Risk factors for sleep apnea include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or an endocrine or metabolic disorder. Age and obesity can also be contributing factors. So now, lets get into the burning question of can sleep apnea be hereditary?
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Main Risk Factors: The Genetic Basis
Several previous reports have described OSAS occurring in genetically related subjects. Strohl et al. first described a family with multiple male relatives suffering from the symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness and night time restlessness, from which three brothers had repetitive apneas during sleep .
Familial aggregation is generally explained by the fact that most risk factors involved in the pathophysiology of OSAS are, to a large extent, genetically determined.
The prevalence of OSAS is typically higher among certain ethnic groups, such as African-Americans, in which it appears to present at a younger age and may also be more severe than European-Americans. Redline et al., in a case-control family study, described the distributions of sleep-disordered breathing in African-Americans and Caucasian. This study showed how African-Americans with SDB were younger than Caucasians with SDB and how, RDI level was higher in subjects < or = 25 years old in African-Americans . Racial variations may be due to obesity that is more prevalent and more epidemic in African-Americans than in European-Americans. Anatomic features typical of each race like the increased upper airway soft tissue in African-Americans seems to play also an important role.
In a similar study, Baldwin et al., considered sleep related breathing disorders in Maori-Pacific Islanders and Europeans. Higher levels of severity parameters of OSAS were seen in both Maori and Pacific Islanders than Europeans .
The Latest Sleep Apnea Devices Everything You Need To Know
While CPAP is one of the most effective treatments for sleep apnea, many patients stop using their machines within a year. Good news, theyre now plenty of alternatives you can try.
The latest sleep apnea devices include more comfortable air pressure systems, body positioners, innovative nerve stimulators, and surgically implanted suspension lines.
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Genetic Aspects Of The Aetiology And Sequelae Of Osahs
To date, two genome-wide scans have been performed in SDB. Palmer et al. performed a 9cM genome scan for OSAHS and obesity in 66 European-American pedigrees comprising 349 subjects. OSAHS was phenotyped on the basis of AHI alone using overnight, in-home measurement of breathing using a portable monitor . DNA was pooled and multipoint variance component linkage analysis was performed for the OSAHS-associated quantitative phenotypes of AHI and BMI. The analysis identified candidate regions on chromosomes 1p , 2p , 12p and 19p for linkage with AHI. BMI was linked to the following regions: chromosome 2p , 7p and 12p . Further statistical modelling indicated that evidence for linkage to AHI was removed after adjustment for BMI, except for regions on chromosomes 2p and 19p . When BMI linkages were adjusted for AHI, the LOD scores were roughly halved.
A further 9cM whole genome scan was conducted in 59 African-American pedigrees in identical fashion as above. Analysis identified linkage on chromosome 8q . BMI was linked to chromosomes 4q and 8q . Adjustment for AHI greatly reduced linkages to BMI, and vice versa.
LOD scores < 2 are not suggestive of linkage under most circumstances, especially in the context of modest power of the sample size, lack of a reported significance threshold for the sample and the use of quantitative traits. The results of these studies must be interpreted with great caution.
How Is Sleep Apnea Different Between Adults And Children
Sleep apnea leads to poor-quality sleep in all affected people, but the daytime symptoms can be different between adults and children. Adults are more likely to exhibit daytime sleepiness and fatigue, while children are more likely to show behavior issues such as difficulty concentrating and hyperactivity.
Additionally, sleep apnea is treated differently in children. In adults, the most common treatment is CPAP, while the most common treatment for children is surgery. Certain orthodontic treatments are only helpful in actively growing children and are not an option for adults with sleep apnea.
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Treatments For Mouth Breathers
Most people breathe through their nose and mouth. Some people with OSA breathe only through their mouth when they sleep. Mouth breathing typically happens when enlarged tonsils or adenoids, congestion, or a deviated septum blocks the nose.
If you breathe through your mouth while on a CPAP machine, you can wake up with a dry nose and throat. This unpleasant side effect causes many to abandon CPAP treatment.
You may be able to overcome this problem by wearing a chin strap with your nasal mask or switching to a full face mask. You can also use a CPAP machine with a built-in humidifier to add moisture to the air you breathe.
A few other ways to relieve mouth breathing without CPAP include:
- using a nasal decongestant, antihistamine, or saline wash to clear up nasal congestion before you go to bed
- propping up your head on a pillow while you sleep
- consulting your doctor about surgery if you have a deviated septum or another structural problem with your nose
If CPAP isnt for you, a few other OSA treatment options include:
- an oral appliance
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These
Left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and motor vehicle accidents. If you suspect you or a loved one may have a sleep disorder, learn more about it here, and schedule a visit to be evaluated at Whitney Sleep Center.
If you or a loved one is experiencing signs or symptoms, we encourage you to set up an appointment at one of our Minnesota locations. Get better sleep: contact us today at or visit our website.
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Exercise And Healthy Diet
Make sure that you consume healthy foods, check your weight and exercise regularly. Studies have shown that individuals with sleep apnea dont require CPAP if they lose weight. They also experience a total cure for fatigue and sleep apnea.
Consider exercising four times a week by carrying out moderate aerobic exercises for about 40 minutes. You should then do some weight training two days a week. The result is that youll feel less tired and reduce the sleep apnea symptoms.
Has Anyone Ever Died From Sleep Apnea
Yes is the short answer. In fact, Carrie Fisher is probably the most famous example of someone to officially die from obstructive sleep apnea.
Now that being said, its unclear if she was currently seeking treatment at the time of her death or what other risk factors may have been at play given her history drug abuse.
Buy beyond Fisher, people with severe sleep apnea have 3 times the risk of dying compared to people without sleep apnea, according to an extensive study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
In fact, their study ran for 18 years and looked at 1,522 people.
They found that 19% of the people in the study who had severe obstructive sleep apnea died during the 18 years compared to only 4% of study participants who did not have any sleep apnea.
So if you have or suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, you owe it to yourself and your family to get properly diagnosed and come up with a treatment plan with your doctor.
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How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated
Even if the reason you have sleep apnea is due to geneticfactors, you can still receive treatment. After receiving a formal diagnosis,you and your dentist can discuss various methods to treat your apnea and itsroot cause. One of the most common and effective solutions used by dentalprofessionals is oral appliance therapy.
Designed to look like a mouthguard, these oral devices fitcomfortably within your mouth and are worn while you sleep. By moving your jawslightly forward, it keeps your airway open and prevents any possible collapsethroughout the night.
Do not let your genetics continue to dictate yourwell-being. If you are ready to start getting the sleep you need ,talk to your dentist about oral appliance therapy today.
About the Practice Wondering why you are not getting ample sleep at night? Tired of feeling worn down and fatigued every day? At Dupont Family Dentistry, we are a family-owned and operated dental practice that uses individualized treatment to help you achieve a restful nights sleep. Our doctors have been successfully treating patients suffering from sleep apnea in DuPont for years. Getting adequate rest is crucial to maintaining good overall health, which is why we offer customized oral appliances. To learn more about our methods and how we can help you, contact us at 964-7000.