Pediatric sleep apnea is a serious condition that can impact your child's ability to thrive. However, you can help your child get the relief they need by recognizing some of the common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea in children.
Sleep apnea isn’t just a condition adults have to deal with. Doctors estimate that between 1 to 4 percent of children have sleep apnea, with the majority being between the ages of 2 and 8 years old. Just like with adults, sleep apnea in children can lead to serious complications.
What Causes Sleep Apnea in Children?
Unlike in adults, pediatric sleep apnea is often caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids. For this reason, surgical treatment may be recommended. Other risk factors include obesity, a family history of sleep apnea, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and others.
Differences Between Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Children and Adults
While adults with sleep apnea often experience daytime fatigue, pediatric sleep apnea is more likely to lead to behavioral problems. Kids with sleep apnea may perform poorly in school, have trouble paying attention or learning, and more.
Signs Your Child May Have Sleep Apnea
As a parent, you want to do everything you can to ensure your child grows up healthy. If you notice that your child snores, has interrupted breathing or breathes through their mouth, snores, coughs, or chokes, or experiences night terrors and bedwetting, these may be signs that your child has pediatric sleep apnea.
Pediatric Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
Sleep studies are typically used to diagnose children with pediatric sleep apnea. After diagnosis, an individualized treatment plan can be created. Treatment for pediatric sleep apnea can include medication, removal of the tonsils or adenoids, a CPAP machine, or an oral appliance. The earlier you recognize the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea in your child, the earlier you can help them get the relief they need to get a good night’s sleep.
Our team at Sleep Easy Dentistry has over 30 years of combined experience treating patients with sleep apnea across San Antonio, Texas. To ask our team any questions or to schedule your free consultation, call us today!