Most people are familiar with sleep apnea in adults, but children can have sleep apnea as well.
Childhood sleep apnea is a complex sleep disorder that requires treatment to help your child
Although some children may grow out of their sleep apnea, the effects of this sleep disorder are
devastating, so getting treatment while it lasts is important. Here’s why your child may not
grow out of their sleep apnea and how treatment can make a difference.
Determine the Cause of Your Child’s Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea could be caused by different things, depending on your child’s specific
circumstances. Some of these causes include being overweight or obese, having cleft palate,
having chronic allergies, enlarged tonsils, or an under-developed respiratory system could all be
at the root of your child’s sleep apnea.
By discovering the cause, you can determine a solution with your child’s sleep specialist. If your
child has enlarged tonsils, they may need to have their tonsils removed, or if they’re
overweight, a weight management program may help alleviate their symptoms. Regardless,
getting treatment is important to stopping your child’s sleep apnea.
How Treatment Alleviates Symptoms
When your child receives the proper treatment for sleep apnea, their symptoms will lessen,
helping them to experience a better quality of life. Symptoms of sleep apnea for children could
include trouble sleeping, long pauses in breathing while sleeping, persistent mouth breathing,
snoring, and behavioral problems such as attention deficit disorder.
Due to its diverse range of symptoms, sleep apnea may be difficult to recognize for some
parents. When the core issue of your child’s sleep apnea is solved, they’ll sleep better at night
and get the rest they need to perform better during the day, therefore helping them overcome
Getting a Diagnosis
Getting a diagnosis is the first step in determining whether or not your child has sleep apnea
and then finding out the cause of their sleep apnea. Don’t attempt to diagnose your child’s
sleep apnea or figure out the cause, as it could be more harmful than helpful to them. A sleep
specialist is the best person to diagnose your child’s sleep apnea.
If a specific cause isn’t found for your child’s sleep apnea, an oral appliance may be able to help
your child breathe normally and sleep peacefully at night. Oral appliances are fitted by your
dentist and are more comfortable alternatives to CPAP machines, which can be cumbersome
and frightening for some children. Once a diagnosis is made, you and your child’s doctor can
discuss an appropriate form of treatment that’ll work the best for your child.
Are you seeing symptoms of sleep apnea in your child? If so, consider scheduling an
appointment with their dentist or pediatrician to get a referral to a sleep specialist. A sleep
specialist can diagnose your child’s sleep apnea and work with you to determine the best
solution. Since childhood sleep apnea can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms, getting
treatment is the best way to help your child feel better!