You may think of sleep apnea as being a condition that is limited to adults — but each year, more and more children are diagnosed with this sleep breathing disorder. If your child frequently snores, tosses and turns at night, suffers from night sweats, or displays other warning signs of troubled sleep, it may be time to seek professional help. After you receive a diagnosis, you can visit Dr. Tad Morgan for treatment for kids sleep apnea in Bullard. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sleep apnea in children, including why it develops and how we can help.
Sleep Apnea in Children: Frequently Misdiagnosed
Estimates say between 1 and 4% of children suffer from sleep apnea. What’s more, the rates are increasing along with the rise in childhood obesity. Carrying extra weight around the neck places pressure on the airway, partially or completely restricting the proper flow of air during sleep. This restriction causes snoring and an oxygen deficiency which can lead to serious side effects, especially for growing children.
Unfortunately, sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed or ignored during childhood. According to the American Sleep Apnea Foundation, some studies suggest that as many as 25% of child patients who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) actually exhibit the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. In children, this condition may be linked to bedwetting, delayed growth, difficulty planning, and other issues with behavior and cognitive function.
Treatment for Kids’ Sleep Apnea
Seeking a diagnosis for your child’s sleep issues is an important first step for finding the best treatment. A sleep study is performed in a sleep lab and can help a doctor or pediatric sleep specialist identify whether or not obstructive sleep apnea is at the root of the issue. If it is, that’s actually good news – it means treatment and relief are in sight.
Sleep apnea treatment for kids may require the removal of the tonsils and adenoids, which are glands located on the top of the mouth. Both can restrict the flow of air and cause sleep apnea in children. In other cases, a removable oral appliance from a qualified dentist can help by repositioning the lower jaw to prevent the collapse of the throat muscles and keep the airway clear. If you’ve ever taken a CPR course, you have a basic idea of how this works. The first step of mouth to mouth is to tilt the head back and jaw forward to clear the airway. Sleep apnea appliances perform this same function. They shift the jaw forward putting a small amount of pressure on the throat muscles, allowing air to flow freely.
No matter the appropriate treatment for kids sleep apnea, the important thing is seeking professional help as soon as you realize there is an issue. Your child’s sleep is too important for anything else!
Contact Us Today!
Do you suspect your child is struggling to get a good night’s rest due to sleep apnea in Bullard? Dr. Tad Morgan can help him or her find relief to keep growing strong! Go ahead and contact us to book an appointment and learn more about kids’ sleep apnea today.