Unfortunately, sleep apnea in children is more common than many might think. It can greatly impact a child’s school life and daily activities. Similar to sleep apnea in adults, there are treatments for children. How does sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea manifest itself in children? What are some of the symptoms? Continue reading on to find the answers to these questions.
Physical symptoms include long pauses in breathing during sleep, loud snoring, excessive nighttime sweating, sleepiness in the day, headaches, and bedwetting.
Behavior/learning symptoms include moodiness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and hyperactivity. Other consequences of OSA and sleep apnea may include insufficient growth hormones that affect development, the bodies way of using insulin, and a higher risk of developing lung and heart problems.
Which children are at risk of developing sleep apnea?
Children with enlarged tonsils or adenoids, those exposed to tobacco smoke, children with less muscle tone, obese children, and those with a genetic predisposition have an increased risk of developing sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed in children?
Children need to undergo a sleep study to fully diagnose sleep apnea or OSA. This involves taping several sensors to the child’s body during their sleep to collect information. During the sleep study, the technician or doctor may monitor the following heart rate, brain waves, breathing, blood oxygen levels, sleep positions, and snoring.
How is sleep apnea and OSA treated in children?
Determining a treatment plan will first require figuring out what is causing the sleep apnea or OSA. It may require an appointment with an ENT specialist. A CPAP machine can also be beneficial or a change in diet and exercise. Contact Town Square Dental for more help with sleep apnea and OSA treatments.