If you suspect that your child might be suffering from sleep problems like sleep apnea, then it’s time to talk to your pediatrician and even an oral surgeon about your treatment options.
Just as sleep apnea can threaten the health and safety of an adult, it can also present a tremendous challenge for children. After all, it is a serious health problem that involves a repeated interruption in breathing, and therefore a loss of oxygen, as your child sleeps at night.
Of course, no parent can hover above their little ones during the midnight hours, but there are some common signs and symptoms that might reasonably indicate a problem. As a parent, you might be aware that your child snores heavily or seems to snort and gasp in a disruptive manner. A child with sleep apnea might also appear to sweat heavily or appear restless throughout the night.
The daytime symptoms for pediatric sleep apnea are very similar to those of an adult. They might include agitation and irritability, social and behavioral problems, difficulty waking up, daily headaches that seem to begin in the morning, extreme daytime sleepiness or daydreaming, breathing through the mouth (rather than the nose), and a nasal voice.
Many of the long-term effects of sleep apnea at such a young age can be quite significant. Without the proper quality of sleep, children have been found to suffer from hyperactive behavior and trouble paying attention. This often leads to the child being diagnosed with ADHD, but they may also suffer from cardiovascular complications and delayed growth patterns.
Sleep apnea and other childhood sleep problems can be managed in a variety of ways. Obesity is a common contributing factor, and weight loss may be recommended along with other treatment options. Your child might be fitted for a breathing appliance that maintains a constant flow of oxygen during the night, or a corrective surgical procedure may be necessary.
To learn more about managing your child’s sleep apnea, call ORA® Oral Surgery, Sleep Disorder & Implant Studio to schedule an appointment today.