Monday, December 18, 2006

Sleep apnea and the child

As the parent of a child with sleep apnea, you will find they snore; they make all types strange noises when they are sleeping, and you will find their small chest is going to retract as they try to catch a breath when sleeping. A child with sleep apnea is not going to be getting a good night sleep when they are not able to breath properly while sleeping. Sleeping, with snoring, and with the inability to breath properly can lead to harsh behavior, the inability to concentrate and the child is going to be tired more often.

The same symptoms that adults feel and notice will be noticed in children when it comes to sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea. The signs that a child is tired during the day, that you hear the noises when they are sleeping, that you see they have a hard time breathing when they are sleeping, and that they are cranky or irritable even after a long nights rest, these are all signs of sleep apnea.

The signs of a child that is suffering with sleep apnea are similar to those of the adult. For the child, a loud a raspy noise when they are sleeping occurs. They gasp or choke for air when sleeping. They have a very restless night sleep, go through bedwetting problems, they often tell you about nightmares, and terrors in the dark. Children will sleep with their mouth open, you can see their chest retract as they gasp for air, and they sometimes are sleeping in strange positions. The strange positions come about because they are so tired, so exhausted, they fall asleep in various positions that will allow the child to breath freely and properly to get rest.

A child may show signs of depression or outward signs of confusion because they are generally tired, from lack of sleep. The child may also show signs of behavior changes as they are not getting the sleep needed that is related to sleep apnea. A sleep test can be done on the child, as with adults, to determine the severity of the sleep apnea, and the additional stress on the body, or lack of oxygen, which will then give the doctor the means to make a more concrete method of helping your child, with or without surgery.

What you might find surprising is that just 25 years ago, the only method of helping a child that had very severe obstructive sleep apnea was a tracheotomy. In our modern times, doctors realize that removal of the tonsils, and / or the adenoids is going to make a major difference in how a child breathes. The removal of tissue in the airway is also a boosting effort that will not harm the child, but that will allow the child to breath much better overall, giving the child a much better restful night of sleep.