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Sleep Apnea in Children
Home sleep-apnea Sleep Apnea in Children

Could My Child Have Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleeping disorder that affects patients of any age and demographic. Unfortunately, this means sleep apnea ca"n affect your children as well. Anywhere from one to five percent of children currently suffer from sleep apnea.

Explore our guide below to better understand the symptoms, risk factors, and health effects of sleep apnea on your child.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are many symptoms of sleep apnea that can present themselves; however, it’s still much more difficult to identify them in children than in adults. It’s important to pay attention to your child’s behavior and possible symptoms during the day and night because different symptoms and effects show up at different times.

Daytime symptoms of sleep apnea are often side effects of nighttime restlessness. These symptoms include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Behavioral issues, acting out
  • Trouble focusing or paying attention
  • Struggles with memory

The nighttime symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Coughing or choking noises during sleep
  • Mouth-breathing during sleep
  • Night terrors
  • Bed-wetting issues
  • Stop-start breathing

It’s important to remember that children with sleep apnea might not snore. With younger patients, often the only signs exhibited are interrupted, disturbed sleep and the side effects of that sleep pattern. If your child is showing any of the listed symptoms, Dr. Goel recommends bringing them in for an evaluation.

Is My Child At Risk For Sleep Apnea?

The reasons that children develop sleep apnea are usually because of family health history, biology, and genetics. With adults, factors such as weight gain and poor physical health can result in sleep apnea, but it’s harder to identify the risk of sleep apnea that a child faces.

Many children with sleep apnea are misdiagnosed with ADHD because of the similarity in daytime symptoms of the two disorders. Up to 25 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD exhibit OSA symptoms. If your child is demonstrating any sleep apnea symptoms, Dr. Goel recommends your child have a sleep study performed to ensure they receive treatment that will alleviate all of their symptoms, not just resolve behavioral issues.

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to significant health risks like heart disease, diabetes, and stunted growth. It’s crucial that you inform Dr. Goel if your child has any of the following in their medical history:

  • A family history of OSA
  • History of low birth weight
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Neuromuscular disease

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Once your child has had a sleep study completed, we can begin to work together to find an effective solution. It’s important to note that even if your child is not diagnosed with sleep apnea, these treatments can be beneficial in helping them sleep soundly regardless.

The traditional sleep apnea treatment is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, or a CPAP. This device pumps air through a tube all night to help keep your child’s airway open. Unfortunately, it requires the user to wear a large mask throughout the night, and many patients find it loud and bulky.

Fortunately, we offer state-of-the-art oral appliance sleep apnea solutions at Bay Area Sleep Solutions. These customized appliances work in similar ways to a mouthguard, allowing for an uninterrupted night’s sleep without the hassle of a CPAP device. The advantages of the devices are their comfortability, convenience, and customization to each patient’s mouth.

Schedule an Appointment at Bay Area Sleep Solutions

The consequences of letting sleep apnea go untreated can be severe. Schedule a consultation at Bay Area Sleep Solutions today to ensure that your child doesn’t have to suffer from the symptoms or lasting effects of sleep apnea.To make an appointment, call our Santa Clara office at (408) 549-1602, or contact us online today.