Children & Sleep Apnea
This field of sleep disorders and treatment can be overwhelming. It is our goal to provide you with the knowledge and resources to make it simple.
Having children is full of highs and lows when it comes to their health. My own children have had birth abnormalities and broken bones. Most have required surgery. These are gut wrenching times for the parents. Sleep is another such beast that can literally keep a parent up at night wondering what harm can be done when your child is gasping for air or not breathing during sleep. There is also no clear path for children when it comes to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea like there is in adults.
Typically it’s the parent/guardian that notices signs of sleep apnea. The information is then conveyed to the pediatrician. Pediatric Sleep Specialists are few and far between, so the youngsters are typically sent to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat doctor). How do you know if your child has sleep apnea?
Here are some warning signs:
- Daytime cognitive and behavior problems, including problems paying attention, easy distractibility, aggressive behavior and hyperactivity (think ADHD)
- Mouth breathing
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
- Problems sleeping and restless sleep
- Parasomnias such as sleep walking or night terrors
- Bed wetting
- Failure to thrive (weight loss or poor weight gain)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
Sleep apnea is usually treated with an adenotonsillectomy. This is where the tonsils and adenoids are removed to open up space in the upper airway. Sometimes CPAP is used. Either way, it is very important to bring this to your child’s pediatrician if you suspect sleep apnea. It does not pay to “wait it out” with children and sleep apnea.
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We are here to help you with any of your sleep diagnotics needs. From at home sleep testing, to CPAP assistance, to sleep advice, we are happy to help you in any way we can. Questions about our services? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.