Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep apnea in children. Sleep disorders in childrenrange from mild snoring to a condition known asObstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. A child with obstructiveSleep apnea has partial or complete airwayblockage during sleep, usually with loud snoring andbreathing pauses. This breathing pauseis called Apnea. Obstructive sleep apneais a serious condition
that affects 2 to 4%of preschool children. It is most common betweenthe ages of two to seven. But can effect infants andadolescents as well. About 10% of children snore, of those children 20 to 30% willhave obstructive sleep apnea. Any child that snores shouldsee their health care provider. Many children have mild symptomsand may outgrow the condition. However, untreatedsleep apnea in children
can lead to serious problems,including delays in growth and development, behavior problems,hyperactivity, heart problems, and high blood pressure. The most common cause ofobstructive sleep apnea in children is enlarged adenoids ortonsils. Other causes include obesity,poor muscle tone and abnormal structures in the face,such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps.
Symptoms ofObstructive Sleep Apnea. Snoring is a common symptomof obstructive sleep apnea. In children under the ageof five years old parents may report other nighttime symptoms, such as mouth breathing, sweating, difficultbreathing, restless sleep, frequent awakenings, andwitness periods of apnea. Daytime sleepiness isuncommon in young children. Sleep deprivationcan cause symptoms
of Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder. ADHD during the day. In children, five years and older, bed wetting isa common occurrence. As well as behavior problems,decreased attention span and developmental issues. Nightmares, night terrors and frequent morningheadaches may also occur.
Children and teens with sleep disorders mayexhibit poor school performance, daytime sleepiness,irritability, and depression. Diagnosing ObstructiveSleep Apnea in Children. Children between ages of fiveto ten need at least nine hours of sleep ona regular basis. If you suspect your childhas obstructive sleep apnea, contact his orher healthcare provider.