Sleep apnea is commonly associated with adult patients, and so the signs may go undetected in children. Unfortunately, due to their lower capacity for oxygen intake, kids are at a higher risk of certain complications from untreated sleep apnea. If you notice anything atypical with your child’s sleep, breathing, or development, talk to the family pediatrician, and ask if your child should be seen by a sleep medicine specialist.

Sleep Behaviors

In adults, this disorder results in frequent nighttime awakenings. These may go unnoticed by the patient. Younger patients aren’t as likely to awaken, as their arousal threshold is higher.

However, children may sleep atypically, such as by sleeping while sitting up. They may also be very restless sleepers who snore loudly and frequently. The snoring associated with sleep apnea is typically punctuated by snorts, pauses, and gasps. Additional nighttime symptoms can include sleep terrors, excessive night sweats, and bedwetting.

Breathing Patterns

During sleep, children affected by this disorder often breathe more heavily than usual. Although they may breathe normally during the daytime, they often do so through their mouths. In very young children, problematic breathing can affect the flexible rib cage in atypical ways. Parents may notice the appearance of inward movement of the rib cage as the child inhales. Labored breathing is common.

Daytime Symptoms

Kids with untreated sleep apnea can complain of headaches upon waking up. Problems swallowing are possible if the child has very large tonsils. Older children are more likely than younger kids to suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sleep Apnea Complications

Over time, untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of the following:

Because sleep apnea affects the level of oxygen in the blood, and because children have smaller lungs than adults, they are at risk of hypoxemia and hypercapnia. These terms refer to low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide, respectively.

Sleep Dynamics is committed to helping children and adults get the restorative sleep they need for good health. We specialize in treating patients with sleep apnea near central New Jersey. You can request an appointment for you or your child at (848) 217-0240.

Although some patients with sleep apnea can manage their condition well with oral appliances, CPAP treatment is the standard recommendation for those with moderate to severe symptoms. Unfortunately, some patients don’t use the style and fit of mask that works best for them, causing many people to avoid CPAP usage altogether. This can have serious consequences. If you’re having problems using your current CPAP mask, you can talk to the specialist about your other options.

Full-Face CPAP Mask

Full-face masks cover the largest surface area, but they don’t actually cover the entire face. Only your mouth and nose will be covered. The mask is held in place with a strap that wraps around from your mouth to the back of the neck, and with another strap wrapped around the forehead area. Full-face CPAP masks may be right for the following individuals:

This style of mask may not be the best choice for people who usually sleep on their stomachs.

Nasal CPAP Mask

If you tend to only breathe through your nose, the specialist may recommend a nasal CPAP mask. This is a versatile choice, as you can choose from a range of fits and sizes. The mask, which is a triangular shape that covers the nose, has a silicone cushion for comfort. The following individuals may prefer this style:

Nasal Pillows

Nasal pillows have the smallest profile and cover the least amount of surface area on the face. This mask consists of a nasal piece with inserts that fit into the nostrils. One tube extends down from the inserts to provide the air. A strap fits around the head to keep the mask in place. The mask does not cover up the nose or mouth. This style is ideal for the following people:

If you need CPAP treatment and live in New Jersey, the specialists at Sleep Dynamics invite you to schedule a consultation.

We provide a comprehensive CPAP management program to help sleep apnea patients live life well with personalized treatment. Contact us at (848) 217-0240.

Hypersomnia is a group of sleep disorders characterized by excessive and disruptive sleepiness during the day. Hypersomnia may be caused by underlying, treatable sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. The frequent nighttime awakenings that are characteristic of sleep apnea can cause symptoms of sleep deprivation during the day. Other types of sleep disorders that fall into this category include narcolepsy, Kleine-Levin syndrome, and insufficient sleep syndrome.

In addition to feeling excessively sleepy, drowsy, or fatigued during the day, people with hypersomnia tend to suffer from poor productivity and decreased quality of work. It’s easier to make mistakes, and to have lapses in judgment and reasoning when one is overly sleepy. Hypersomnia can lead to increased irritability and social withdrawal, and it can lead to dangerous accidents on the road or on jobsites.

Sleep Dynamics is a team of sleep disorder specialists serving central New Jersey. Take the first step to a better night’s rest, and give us a call at (848) 217-0240.

If you’re suspected of having a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, you may be referred to a specialist for an overnight sleep study. You can see how sleep studies proceed when you watch this featured video. Notice that the sleep lab looks like a comfortable hotel room—not a hospital—to allow patients to fall asleep more naturally.

This video explains the placement of various sensors, including electrodes on the scalp. These sensors monitor the patient throughout the night, evaluating issues like heart rate, snoring, and breathing. In the morning, the patient can go about his or her normal routine. A follow-up visit will be scheduled to discuss the results.

Board-certified sleep medicine specialists in New Jersey administer the diagnostic testing services available at Sleep Dynamics. If you have any questions about your upcoming polysomnogram at our sleep lab, you can get in touch at (848) 217-0240.

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