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.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sound Sleep for Your Children

Anyone with sleep apnea may not notice they suffer from the disorder because the symptoms of sleep apnea are usually only apparent while sleeping or are nonspecific and may be attributed to other factors. Most of the time, a significant other notices that their partner snores and stops breathing several times a night because they are sleeping in the same room.

The symptoms of sleep apnea in children are more difficult to notice because children usually sleep in a room by themselves. Snoring is a good indicator in adults that they may have sleep apnea. However, many children snore and snoring is not always a sign of sleep apnea in children.

Sleep apnea symptoms to look out for in children include:

  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Difficulty sleeping or restless sleep
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Failure to either lose or gain weight
  • Tonsils that are enlarged
  • Problems paying attention at school
  • Hyperactivity or aggressive behavior

A pediatric ENT is the best person to diagnose your child’s sleep apnea. Diagnosis of sleep apnea in children is usually based on their behavioral symptoms and enlarged tonsils. Depending on your child’s symptoms and needs, a sleep study may be performed.

Children with sleep apnea who are treated for the condition will get a good night’s sleep and have the rest required to do well in school. You will notice improvement in your child’s behavior and grades at school after treatment.

If you believe your child is suffering from sleep apnea, please speak with a sleep apnea dentist in your area for help.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 6:12 AM