Sleep apnea in children is difficult to diagnose and recognize, but there are a number of symptoms that parents can be watching out for.
Snoring is a very common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea in young people, but it should be noted that 10 to 20% of normal children snore too. In addition to loud, continuous snoring, some other symptoms of this sleep issue in a young person
o Weight loss and difficulty gaining weight
o Breathing through the mouth
o Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
o Restless sleep
o Sleepiness during the day
o Daytime behavioural problems
o Aggressive daytime behaviour and hyperactivity
If your child suffers from any of these symptoms and you think they may be suffering from a sleep disorder, it is important to get a professional diagnosis. Your child should be evaluated by a paediatric ENT specialist.
The treatment of sleep apnea in children will depend on the severity of their symptoms. For instance, if your child is overweight, that could be a contributing factor to their sleep challenges, and in this case weight loss would be an advisable treatment. If weight is not an issue then other medical conditions such as allergies could be the culprit.
The most common treatment for this particular sleep issue in children is surgery. Surgery often involves the removal of enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
If you are the parent of a child suffering from sleep apnea then you need to be aware of the fact that this condition in children can cause a number of seemingly unrelated complications such as poor growth, headaches, heart, and lung problems. Sleep apnea can also affect your child’s performance in school and can result in behavioural problems.
If you suspect that your child is experiencing sleep apnea, it is not something that should be ignored, especially if the symptoms point to the obstructive variety. If that is the case, then you should make an appointment to have a proper diagnosis of your child as soon as possible.
As you can see, when it comes to help for sleep problems including sleep apnea, there are four commonly used cures that you should be aware of.