Sleep Apnea Treatment
Does Your Son or Daughter Have Sleep Apnea?
Although obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is found to be more apparent in older adults, it can still affect young children. The sleep disorder is most commonly affecting children between the ages of 2 and 8, with snoring being one of their main symptoms.
Sometimes pediatric OSA isn’t easy to distinguish because children may not always realize the symptoms they have. If you suspect your son or daughter has sleep apnea, being aware of the warning signs is crucial for getting them the right treatment. Dr. Hobbs can help you understand what OSA in children is like and what you should do.
Symptoms of Your Child’s Potential Sleep Disorder
Looking out for changes in your child’s behavior or sleep pattern can be the first step to discovering if they suffer from OSA. If you find that your son or daughter has some of these symptoms, you should take them to a pediatrician who specializes in sleep disorders. They can provide your child with a sleep study which is proven to be the most accurate method of diagnosis.
Symptoms of OSA in children you may notice are:
- Habitual snoring, gasping or snorting noises
- Heavy breathing at night
- Sleepwalking and bedwetting
- Daytime sleepiness and behavioral problems
- Anger problems and irritability
- Lack of focus or is hyperactive
Child OSA is Often Mistaken as ADHD
OSA found in children has been found to affect their development and learning abilities at school the most. This is due to the lack of quality sleep they’re receiving at night and how it reflects on their daytime performance.
During the day, your son or daughter might not be doing well at school, can’t pay attention, and isn’t learning to their full potential. These similar daytime symptoms are often being recognized as ADHD, but doctors are later finding out these children actually have sleep apnea.
Oftentimes, children who are prescribed with ADHD medication are still experiencing drowsiness during the day and low energy. This means they aren’t receiving proper treatment and a sleep study is necessary in order to confirm their condition.
Get Your Child the Help They Need
If your son or daughter have been misdiagnosed with ADHD or have yet to be identified with OSA at all, it can lead to detrimental health complications. These may include failure to grow, heart problems, obesity, and more.
Visiting a sleep pediatrician to conduct a sleep study will be the first step to a healthier, more energized life for your child. If they’re officially diagnosed with OSA, their doctor may prescribe medications or refer you to an ENT doctor to remove their tonsils and adenoids if that’s what’s causing their interrupted breathing.
Other treatments may include a CPAP or BPAP machine that both blow continuous air through a mask to clear the obstruction in your child’s throat. Another alternative that provides ultimate comfort and ease for your child is an oral appliance, which Dr. Hobbs can help custom-create for them.
If you’re looking for a sleep apnea solution for your little one, call our Longview office to schedule a consultation today.