Though sleep apnea is often considered an adult’s disease, it can also occur in children. This potentially dangerous condition is treatable with help from your child’s ear, nose, and throat doctor. Does your child have sleep apnea? Learn the symptoms and signs of sleep apnea with your child’s doctors and audiologists at Children’s Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy in Orlando and Maitland, FL.
What is obtrusive sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition which causes patients to breathe shallowly or temporarily stop breathing altogether while asleep. These pauses in breathing, called apneas, come from a blockage of the airway, often the back of the tongue. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea. However, children’s numbers are more vague, with an estimated prevalence of about 2-3%. Children who suffer from sleep apnea may also notice daytime symptoms.
Does my child have sleep apnea?
The most common sign of sleep apnea, whether in children or adults, is snoring. While obesity contributes to most cases of adult sleep apnea, children who have sleep apnea often suffer from enlarged tonsils. Some other common symptoms include:
- poor attention span
- mouth breathing
- poor performance at school
- excessive daytime sleepiness
- pauses in breathing during sleep (apneas)
How can my Orlando and Maitland ENT doctor help my child’s sleep apnea?
Treating childhood sleep apnea depends on the severity of the condition and the child themselves. Often, the underlying issue causing the condition is enlarged tonsils or adenoids. In this case, surgery to remove these tissues is often enough to correct the problem and reverse the symptoms of sleep apnea. However, children who attribute sleep apnea to obesity benefit more from lifestyle changes and learning to effectively manage their weight. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, which keep the airway open and clear using air pressure, or oral dental appliances to help shift the jaw to eliminate the obstruction may also benefit children with sleep apnea.
For more information on pediatric sleep apnea, please contact your child’s doctors and audiologists at Children’s Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy with locations in Orlando and Maitland, FL. Call (407) 253-1000 to schedule your appointment at any of our offices today!