We frequently are more likely to view children as being significantly less susceptible to destructive health problems in comparison with adults, as though their youthfulness and innocence for some reason makes them much more impervious to infection and disease. Unfortunately, this isn’t the way it is, not even having a supposedly “adult” condition such as sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea-as differentiated from central sleep apnea-is a typical medical problem in youngsters that’s oftentimes acknowledged as resulting in very poor attention span and erratic behavior that could compromise a child’s school performance.
Sleep apnea arises whenever a particular person encounters one or more breathing stopages and also short breaths while sleeping. The breathing interruptions normally happen between 5 and 30 or even more instances every hour on 3 or more nights weekly. The breathing stopages last only a couple of seconds or as long as minutes. In either case, the brain recognizes that your body needs oxygen and tones up the breathing actions, resulting in the person to move from deep sleep to light sleep as they gasp for air. Consequently, the person fails to obtain lasting deep sleep and goes through the next day feeling drowsy. In grown-ups, obstructive apnea is normally witnessed by persistent snoring and is commonly associated with being noticeably obese. In kids, however, snoring might not be an indicator (10-20 percent of healthy children snore) and obesity often ceases to be a contributing factor.
The following is a list of factors frequently related to children who suffer from obstructive apnea: breathing with the mouth due to upper airway occlusion, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, restless sleep, weight loss or poor weight gain, excessive daytime sleepiness and cognitive and behavioral problems including poor attention span, hyperactivity and aggressive behavior.
Once a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist or perhaps a sleep specialist determines that your child has obstructive apnea; a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy may be performed to solve the issue, these being the most typical cures for childhood apnea. But when enlarged tonsils and adenoids aren’t a contributing factor, your son or daughter might be recommended for a polysomnogram-a painless overnight procedure performed at a sleep clinic that involves placing small sensors about the head, face, chest and finger to chart vital signs and muscle movements as the patient sleeps.
Like all sleep issues, obstructive apnea can result in a weakened immune system that compromises an individual’s ability to fight off infection and disease. Therefore, addressing apnea is important to more than the advance of the child’s overall behavior and attention span. Children who exhibit an inability to concentrate are often prescribed medications that treat adhd (ADD), but if apnea may be the underlying cause of your child’s short attention span, such medications only serve to mask the symptoms of apnea. ADD often occurs without the presence of apnea, but for the sake of the child’s immune system and the or ability to achieve restful sleep, it’s wise to contact an ear nose and throat specialist or perhaps a sleep medicine clinic before surmising that your child is affected with non-apnea induced ADD.