Kids’ Snoring Could Indicate Sleep Apnea
Submitted by Michael R. Cortese, D.M.D. on Mon 12/19/2016 - 09:00
Experts estimate that 1 to 3 percent of children are affected by sleep apnea and experience significant side effects. Unfortunately, in children many of the symptoms of this condition are misinterpreted or mistaken for something else (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Dr. Michael Cortese of Princeton Prosthodontics urges parents to be mindful of the symptoms of sleep apnea and, if needed, seek the proper medical attention for their children.
Who Is At Risk?
There are a few groups of children that are at a heightened risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Although children of any weight can develop the condition, overweight children have a higher risk because fat deposits around the neck or throat can obstruct the airway. Children with abnormalities of the lower jaw or tongue are more likely to suffer from sleep disordered breathing. Also, children with neuromuscular problems, such as cerebral palsy, have a higher risk of sleep apnea.
Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children
Frequent loud snoring is the most common and obvious symptom of sleep disordered breathing. Other symptoms include the following:
- gasping and or noises
- irritability or moodiness
- daytime sleepiness
- difficulty concentrating in school
- wetting the bed
Consequences of Sleep Apnea in Children
Left undetected and untreated, sleep apnea can have serious consequences — health and otherwise. Sleep apnea robs children of the restful sleep they need and can stunt normal growth and development. It can interfere with learning and academic performance. Sleep apnea can cause moodiness, irritability and disruptive behavior at school or at home. Some children can develop attention deficit disorders due in part to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can also create increased resistance to insulin or daytime fatigue that limits physical activity, both of which can contribute to obesity. And finally, children with sleep apnea can develop other lifelong health conditions including high blood pressure and heart problems.
Once detected and properly treated, a child’s behavior, performance and health can improve significantly. The key is to spot the symptoms early and have them evaluated by a professional.
Contact Princeton Prosthodontics
If you have noticed your child snores loudly on most nights, or exhibits other symptoms associated with sleep apnea, he or she should be screened for the condition. Please contact Princeton Prosthodontics and request a consultation with Dr. Cortese to learn more. Call or email us today to make your appointment.