As parents, you want nothing more than healthy and vibrant children. If something is amiss and they’re not feeling up to par in their studies or interacting with peers, your child might be suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea can affect children as much as adults.
If your child snores loudly during the night on a consistent basis, you might want to have them checked out. Loud snoring and labored breathing while sleeping can be signs of sleep apnea. There are several types of sleep apnea, but the most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite attempts to breathe.
The Signs of Sleep Apnea and What to Look For
Symptoms in addition to snoring can include:
- Restless sleeping and sleeping in unusual positions
- Pauses in breathing, snorts during sleep and gasping for breath
- Daytime fatigue and behavioral issues
- Increase in body weight, perhaps obesity, without dietary changes,due to lack of sleep.
The obesity connection is on the rise, especially when sleep study specialists track sleeping patterns. If weight loss can be encouraged for your child, it may cure sleep apnea in some cases.
Safe Treatments for Children’s Sleep Apnea
Your dentist who offers sleep apnea treatment can provide guidance if you have any concerns about your child’s sleeping habits. Surgery is not always needed to treat sleep apnea. As a parent, you’ll need to be aware that a sleep study may be needed to properly diagnose and treat your child.
There are several conventional treatment options for sleep apnea, including oral appliances, nasal steroids, and in some cases, even surgery can help. Simply stopping sleep apnea and its symptoms can be helped with weight loss, appliances, or other methods your dentist will outline during a consultation.
If your child has symptoms of sleep apnea, talk to your pediatrician first and find out their recommendations for the next steps. Sleep apnea can have profound consequences for a child in terms of energy level, behavior, and learning. Don’t let sleep apnea symptoms progress. Give your child a restful night’s sleep with a visit to Dr. Sheila Birth today. One phone call, one consultation and evaluation, and your child will be well on their way to a solid slumber.