Understanding the health risks of Sleep Apnea in Kids


The number of myths that revolve around sleeping disorders thrives on the notion of the illness affecting adult only who are overweight. These misconceptions have often led to misdiagnosis of the disease to others like insomnia and the need for more research in the field. The increased levels of awareness among the general public and medical practitioners with the invention of new ways to tackle the menace of sleeping disorders.

The current statistics place the prevalence of the sleeping disorders in children at a much lower rate, compared to the adults, it’s five times less. Sleeping apnea entails records of the conditions affecting children in all their activities such as unrest fewer behaviors, lack of personal care and loneliness. Saddening information put children with sleeping disorders at the risk of heart-related diseases.

What are the signs of children sleep apnea?

The symptoms of the illnesses are manifested both during the night when kids are sleeping and daylight. The following notable symptoms to watch out for in children;
● Snoring: The highest percentage of children with sleeping apnea exhibit snoring in their sleep.
● Mouth breathing: The regular breathing through the nose is affected, and in turn, the kids breathe through the mouth.
● Hyperactivity: The rate of overall activeness of a child during the day interchanges with daytime sleepiness.
● Trouble Focusing in School: The concentration span of a child substantially reduces while affecting the performance in academic work.
● Stop Breathing: A child exhibits difficulty in breathing and pausing several times when sleeping.
● Bedwetting
● Sleep talking and walking
● Frequent Ear Infections
● Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids
● Thrashing and Moving a lot while sleeping
● Night terrors

What are the causes of child sleep apnea?

The two principal cause of sleeping and breathing disorders in children are caused:

Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids
The tonsils and adenoids in the nasal cavity bring breathing problems when the child is awake and sleeping disorders at night. The two tissues may enlarge naturally, and when the child is sleeping, they relax, and they block air into the respiratory system leading to sleeping apnea.

Narrow and underdeveloped upper and lower jaw
Upper and lower jaw evaluation to determine the size of the jaws. In the case of a screening test that exhibits crowding, underbite, overbite, narrow jaw and/or long face, the airway is likely to narrow and the oropharyngeal space encroached. The diagnosis at this stage confirms the OSA is present and treatment commences immediately. The treatment for the child will include an arch expansion of the patient’s maxillary on the upper and lower jaws. The post-treatment involves a screening test that will exhibit upright dentition with better oxygenation and sleep.

Obesity refers to free body weight in the case a body does not correspond to the ratio of weight. Overweight causes increased sleeping apnea in kids when fatty tissues encroach the neck region with the air passage. The excess body tissue causes airways to contract and restricting the efficient flow of air.

How do you diagnose child sleep apnea?

The underlying diagnosis of a child sleeping disorder involves a sleep study that monitors the body functions. These functions include breathing, heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood and the volumes of carbon dioxide from a child body.

Treatment for sleeping apnea in children

a) Children with overgrown tonsils and adenoids or either of the two, need surgery to move the tissues. This method is very effective to remove almost all the excess tissue and leave the child breathing well.
b) The case of children with obesity problems, they need the introduction of weight management programs and a change of the nutrition lifestyle.
c) Children who have their facial bones completely grown, they need to incorporate dental apparatus that work to open the airways (aka Functional jaw orthopedics, maxillary expansion, RPE, BioBlock, Facemask)
d) Allergies that cause sleep apnea require the application of seasonal allergy medication.

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