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Sleep apnea runs in families, which means the causes of sleep apnea often begin with how our bodies are built.
Some of the physical reasons people suffer from sleep apnea includes a small upper airway or some other airway blockage during sleep. Such blockages may be caused by airway tissues, which are too large or relax too much when you sleep (e.g. tonsils or a soft palate) or your bone structure may change the shape of your throat (e.g. a recessed chin). As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass, so many of these conditions get worse with time and may cause breathing problems as we sleep.