Studies conducted by the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research have found that genetics play a role in all three types of sleep apnea. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that 30 to 40 percent of patients with obstructive sleep apnea have genetic factors that increase their risk for the disorder.
The NIH reports that genetic factors may include “craniofacial structure, body fat distribution and neural control of the upper airway muscles,” but have not yet identified the role specific genes play in the development of sleep apnea.
In addition to genetic factors, you may be at an increased risk for sleep apnea if you:
- Use narcotics
- Drink alcohol
- Are overweight
- Lead a sedentary lifestyle
The causes of sleep apnea are not always known, but several studies have found that risks can be reduced by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Even if you are at an increased risk due to genetic predisposition, you can greatly reduce additional risks for sleep apnea by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol and narcotics. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, lifestyle changes are often part of a more comprehensive treatment plan to help ensure proper airflow and help you get a good and healthy night’s sleep.
To learn more about your risks for sleep, please contact I Hate CPAP today to find a qualified physician in your area.