You may think your child is resting comfortably if you hear him or her snoring shortly after falling asleep. However, regular snoring in children along with labored breathing during sleep, frequent gasps during sleep and snorts or pauses, can be an indicator of sleep apnea syndrome.
In fact, sleep apnea is probably more common than indicated the medical data available on the condition. Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome has also been directly linked to children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a condition which has seen increased rates of diagnosis over the past decade. According to a recent study, many children diagnosed with this condition don’t really have it; their behavioral problems are actually related to sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD), such as sleep apnea. Children’s behavior is different than an adult’s if they experience lack of sleep. Children tend to become hyperactive, while adults tend to feel lethargic.
Approximately 3-12% of children snore, and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome can affect between 1 and 10 children. The majority of children have minor symptoms, and many outgrow it. However, while your child is coping with the condition, he or she may experience secondary conditions that affect their daily life. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome can inhibit your child’s ability to thrive, enuresis (bed-wetting), attention-deficit disorder, behavior problems, poor academic performance, and cardiopulmonary disease. Contracting obstructive sleep apnea syndrome can also be a result of adenotonsillar hypertrophy (unusual growth of the adenoids), neuromuscular disease, and craniofacial abnormalities.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who frequently snore should be tested for obstructive sleep apnea. Don’t forget to mention to Dr. Chambliss or your pediatrician if you suspect your child has sleep issues or if they’ve had an ADHD diagnosis. There are treatment solutions for your child if they have an obstructive sleep disorder, depending on its cause.
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