Restorative |3 min read

Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary?

Woman sleeping peacefully after treating sleep apnea

Did you know snoring is one of the most significant warning signs of sleep apnea?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 25 percent of adults… This text opens a new tab to the Johns Hopkins Medicine website… snore regularly – often disturbing their partner’s sleep and likely their own.

Another report from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine… This text opens a new tab to the AASM website… shows that snoring appears to run in families.

But wait:

Does that mean sleep apnea is hereditary?

In this blog, we’ll answer that question as well as:

  • What causes sleep apnea
  • If sleep apnea goes away
  • How to reduce or eliminate your symptoms
  • Other warning signs of sleep apnea

Does sleep apnea run in families?

Research… This text opens a new tab to the Healthline website… shows this condition may be attributable to genetics to some degree.


Over sixty percent of the underlying causes of sleep apnea are environmental or lifestyle related. 

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea may be caused by several factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • Your sex
  • Having a larger neck
  • Having an enlarged tongue or tonsils
  • Having a smaller jawbone
  • Having a narrower throat
  • Nasal obstruction due to allergies, sinus problems, or a deviated septum

Heavyset men who are over the age of 40 are considered the high-risk group.


Women (and children) can also have this condition, of course.

In a study… This text opens a new tab to the PubMed website…, researchers found your hormonal status may make an impact on your susceptibility to sleep apnea.

Compared with premenopausal women, postmenopausal women are three times more likely… This text opens a new tab to the Medscape website… to have moderate-to-severe sleep apnea.

And features like a narrow throat and enlarged tonsils may obstruct your or your child’s breathing at night.

Many kids between the ages of three and six have naturally enlarged tonsils. While it’s usually nothing to worry about, it could lead to issues, such as:

  • Waking frequently
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Frequent colds
  • Bedwetting

Additionally, habits such as smoking or frequent alcohol use may also cause episodes of sleep apnea.

Does sleep apnea ever go away?

Sleep apnea doesn’t go away on its own.


Your symptoms may be eliminated with a bit of help from:

Your dentist can help identify signs of a sleep disorder and often provide treatment to help you get a restful sleep.

Certain practices, like ours, create a custom nightguard that’ll keep your airway open at night to prevent obstructive snoring.

Some changes you could make to improve your condition include:

  • Eating a healthier diet
  • Exercising more often
  • Avoid taking certain medicines (such as opioids and muscle relaxers)
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Avoiding excessive drinking
  • Quitting the use of tobacco products

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

Aside from obstructive snoring, some common warning signs of this condition include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Decreased libido
  • Dizziness when you wake up
  • Morning headaches

It’s vital you catch sleep apnea early on because if left untreated, it could lead to serious health risks such as:

  • Depression
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke

Note: If you or a loved one have any signs of sleep apnea, talk to your dentist.

Looking for sleep apnea treatment in Columbus, GA?

Dr. T. Lance Collier is here for you!

Dr. Collier is an expert dentist who’ll help you finally get a restful night of sleep again.

He’ll address any of your questions or concerns and partner with you to find the best solution for your needs.

Schedule a consultation for sleep apnea treatment in Columbia, GA today.

Schedule Your Visit


T. Lance Collier, DMD, LLC is located in Columbus, GA… This text opens a new tab to our Google listing … and serves patients from surrounding communities, including Phenix City, Midland, Pine Mountain, Hamilton, West Point, Valley, Ft Mitchell, Buena Mista, Cataula, Ft Benning, Crawford, Salem, Smiths, LaGrange, Auburn, Opelika, Harris County, and Seale.