Cognisant Care for Your Child
Sleep apnea is a medical condition which left untreated can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease and in extreme cases death. Thankfully, awareness for the disorder is growing; people are recognizing the symptoms faster and contacting the proper professional support. Still, as a society, there’s always one group we misdiagnose—children.
Children suffering from sleep apnea are most likely being affected by Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is a disorder that limits airflow due to an obstruction in the throat causing your body to wake up continuously throughout the night. Restricted airflow means a decrease in the oxygen supply which can lead to severe health issues like weakened heart function and shortness of breath.
If your child is suffering from OSA and doesn’t seek treatment, the disorder can affect their development, mood, and behavior. Unfortunately, we commonly misdiagnose children with OSA as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Childhood Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are a few symptoms of OSA that both children and adults experience, including loud snoring, restless sleep, and daytime drowsiness. Patients young and old have also noticed fluctuations in breathing, from peaceful to loud gasping.
Beyond those, other common symptoms in children with OSA are as follows:
- Weight gain
- Academic & behavioral issues
- Bed wetting
- Mouth breathing during sleep
- Night sweats
- Difficulty concentrating
What Evokes Childhood Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is generally brought on by an overdeveloped or underdeveloped area of the throat or mouth. If your child has enlarged tonsils, tongue, or any other part of their oral structure, it could put them at risk of developing OSA.
While rare in adults, the two most commonly found in children with obstructive sleep apnea are enlarged tonsils and adenoids. In these situations, Dr. Garceau may recommend surgery.
Furthermore, Children who are obese or overweight are much more likely to develop OSA.
Treating Your Child’s OSA
The reason we see dentists for sleep-related problems is the same reason why they’re often the first medical practitioners to spot the warning signs of OSA—they specialize in the airway, and that’s where OSA occurs.
Dr. Garceau is a qualified sleep dentist. She’ll get your child the proper diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan. If you have questions, concerns, or are looking for more information about sleep apnea, contact our office at 860-254-6189. A member of our delightful staff will service your needs and can schedule your consultation with Dr. Garceau.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a child die from sleep apnea?
Children with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can suffer from growth stunts, worsened medical conditions, and more serious health problems over time. These may include high blood pressure, heart disease, and even death.
Recognizing the symptoms of sleep apnea is the first step to helping your child get the quality sleep they deserve. Then, we can evaluate your child to determine the best course of treatment for their unique needs.
Can children outgrow sleep apnea?
Many children who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, may outgrow the condition. However, children with untreated sleep apnea are more susceptible to developing behavioral problems and health complications.
That’s why it’s crucial to seek treatment at the first sign of the sleep disorder. Contact our Hartford office at 860-254-6189 to learn more about pediatric sleep apnea and schedule your child’s consultation.