Sleep Apnea Can Be Hereditary

Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder affecting 18 million Americans today. Over the past two decades, the percentage of individuals suffering from sleep apnea has increased from 14 to 55 percent.

There are two types of sleep apnea. The first is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is caused by blocking of the upper airway passages during sleep. The second is central sleep apnea which occurs when the brain doesn’t send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

There is a strong possibility that sleep apnea can be linked to hereditary features, such as a recessed chin, overbite or large tonsils. These features make it more likely for airway passages to be obstructed during sleep.

If sleep apnea can be hereditary, being able to detect signs of the condition in young children can make a significant impact in their growth and development. Parents should watch for loud snoring, stop-and-start breathing and gasping for breath. Children suffering from sleep apnea often don’t get the amount of sleep needed, and as a result, end up not growing as much or find themselves falling asleep in class and letting their grades slip.

Up to 4 percent of children have sleep apnea. If you believe your child may be suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, please give our FusionSleep office a call at (678) 990-3962. Our team of certified sleep specialists will be happy to serve you.