Childhood Sleep Apnea: A Serious Problem
It’s almost soothing to watch children sleep. They’re calm and at peace, and that slight snoring sound can be so cute when they’ve completely worn themselves out. Sometimes, with some children, the snoring is louder, and the child can stop breathing for periods of time. Yes, it is possible for children, healthy children, to have sleep apnea, and the lack of public knowledge could prove to be dangerous.
When most people think of sleep apnea, and those that suffer from it, they usually imagine someone older, who is more than likely overweight. After all, it’s an adult problem, so why should we worry about our children suffering from it?
Dr. Sydney Butts, an ENT specialist in New York City, recently spoke to ABC News about the problem of sleep apnea in children. “It should raise a flag,” she said, explaining the link between snoring children and sleep apnea.”You should think about watching some other signs and symptoms that may kind of sound the alarm.”
“It’s not a problem restricted to adults,” Butts added of sleep apnea. “It’s actually one of the most common reasons why children need their tonsils or adenoids removed.”
Sleep apnea can be caused by factors other than weight. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs whenever something blocks your airway, like the swollen tonsils of a child, for example. Central sleep apnea can affect anyone, and is caused by the brain failing to signal your muscles to breathe. Either of these disorders can occur in children, as well as adults, and can lead to heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, and other health problems as well.
When looking for symptoms of sleep apnea in children, it is important to remember that some symptoms can mimic those of ADHD, and your child might have been misdiagnosed. Childhood sleep apnea symptoms include snoring, hyperactivity, trouble focusing in school, depression or anger, and can also include bed wetting. Of course, the most telling sign is is pauses in breathing while sleeping.
If you think your child might be suffering from childhood sleep apnea, Apnix Sleep Diagnostics can help. We have 8 Greater Houston area locations that can help perform a sleep study to determine if your child is suffering from sleep apnea. We can also set you up with a CPAP Machine to help treat your child’s sleep apnea as well. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.