WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT PEDIATRIC SLEEP APNEA
People who suffer from sleep apnea don’t breathe properly while they sleep, so they experience symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and mood swings when they are awake. Kids should be lively and full of energy, and surgery is one way to treat the problem. CPAP treatment and oral appliances can also help, as can eliminating risk factors for the disorder. Here’s a brief look at some treatment options.
Many children who suffer from sleep apnea undergo surgery to have their adenoids and tonsils taken out. By making the upper airway larger, it lessens the chance of obstructions, allowing the child to breathe without interruption.
CPAP and Oral Appliances
Having a sleep disorder doesn’t mean you’ll never have a good night’s sleep again, and surgery isn’t the only treatment option. CPAP machines and oral appliances help you get the right amount of air while you sleep. CPAP opens your airways with continuous pressure, while oral appliances change the position of your teeth and jaws. Modern CPAP machines are much quieter than older units, so don’t worry about dealing with the loud sound of machinery as a replacement for snoring. Talk to your sleep disorder specialist to see if a CPAP machine or oral appliance would be a better fit.
Certain controllable risk factors make your children more susceptible to the symptoms of sleep apnea, and one of them is obesity. If your child is overweight, encourage him or her to practice different weight loss methods. This could mean more exercise, less time in front of the television, or a revised diet. Losing weight reduces the circumference of your child’s neck, and it can help protect him from sleep apnea and the other conditions that it can lead to.
Some children respond to steroid treatment that relieves nasal congestion, thus limiting the opportunities for apnea. however, this is not a long-term strategy, and further evaluation typically occurs after 2-3 months.
Sleep apnea near Central New Jersey can have a serious impact on your day to day life no matter how old you are, so call Sleep Dynamics at (848) 217-0240 or visit our website. We can perform multiple sleep latency tests and offer CPAP treatment so your kids can sleep through the night and protect their health.