Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sleep Apnea in Children

While sleep apnea is generally associated with overweight, adult males, sleep apnea can occur in children as well. Millions of children have sleep apnea and the symptoms are often times different than the symptoms of sleep apnea in adults.

Children are being defined in this post as a child who has yet to go through puberty. Once a child reaches puberty, sleep apnea symptoms begin to mirror the symptoms of sleep apnea in adults. Some of the symptoms for children with sleep apnea are the following:

Overly large tonsils
Sleeping in strange positions
Snoring
Obesity
Sleeping restlessly

Children with pre-existing health conditions may also have a higher risk of sleep apnea. Some of these conditions include:

Cerebral palsy
Down's syndrome
Muscular dystrophy

The cure of sleep apnea in children is also different than that for adults. Since most children who develop sleep apnea have large tonsils, a tonsillectomy is usually recommended to cure sleep apnea in children. This clears the breathing airway for children and usually results in a child who is sleep apnea free. A child's adenoids may also be removed to help clear the airway in addition to performing a tonsillectomy.

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your child or your child falls into any of the above risk groups, make sure you see a doctor about the potential of sleep apnea in your child.

If you are in the Gurnee, IL area and your child suffers from sleep apnea, please contact sleep dentist Dr. Ira Shapira today.

posted by Lynn at 9:57 AM