Sleep Apnea in Children
Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep disorders are not limited to adults; symptoms can present in otherwise healthy children at an early age. Though the symptoms of Pediatric Sleep Apnea may be milder than Adult Obstructive Sleep Apnea, they are serious and play a serious role in your child’s development. Many children suffering from a sleep disorder experience headache, pain in their fingers or jaws, difficulty breathing, and trouble sleeping. Can you imagine your child having these symptoms all of their life and thinking this discomfort is normal?
Signs and Symptoms in Children Can Include:
- Bed wetting
- Night Terrors
- Restlessness & odd sleep positions
- Snoring & mouth breathing
- Teeth grinding
Children with undiagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are commonly misdiagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and other behavior/learning difficulties and are prescribed unnecessary medications.
Is Your Child Sleeping Well?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea affects millions of children that most often go untreated and misdiagnosed. Connor Deegan’s story is a great example of how serious Pediatric Sleep Apnea is:
Because the body requires oxygen to fully mature, it is imperative that children can breathe properly, as growth hormones are released during deep sleep. Untreated sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, may result in severe complications including:
- Delayed development
- Dysfunctions of the nervous system
- Impaired intelligence
- Memory loss and depression
Sleep disorders can also result in behavioral problems that relate to:
- Decreased performance in school/learning problems
- Social isolation and withdrawal
Detection Early on Leads to Easier Treatment and Better Results.
Children are still growing, so it is possible to direct skeletal structure to develop in a way that benefits the airway. The optimal time to treat children is from ages two to five. It is at these ages that 80% of anterior posterior growth of the head, neck, and airway takes place. Therefore, beginning treatment before the craniofacial anatomy is done growing allows us to direct the structural growth and prevent sleep apnea and TMD.
Dr. Krish works diligently with each patient create a personalized treatment plan. The course of treatment in children often includes custom oral appliances to aide in jaw development, open the airway, and correctly position the teeth and skeletal symmetry.
Your child can avoid suffering now with proper facial and airway development. Take a preventative approach by evaluating your child both at an early age and throughout their development and prevent health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, and obesity.