Did you know that sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a problem that can affect people of all ages? In fact, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, SDB is present in 2% to 3% of children and up to 9% of adolescents. If your child is demonstrating symptoms of SDB, it’s important that you know what to look for. We will discuss the different types of sleep-disordered breathing and how to tell if your child may be suffering from it.
There are a few different types of sleep-disordered breathing, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, preventing your child from getting enough oxygen. This can lead to a number of functional challenges, such as difficulty concentrating during the day, hyperactivity, aggression, and difficulty learning.
There are a few different night time symptoms that may indicate SDB or OSA in children. The most common is snoring, which can be loud and disruptive. Snoring is often accompanied by chronic mouth breathing, which can dry out the mouth. Restless sleep is another common symptom of OSA, as is excessive daytime sleepiness. Children with OSA may also have difficulty concentrating in school or completing tasks.
If you suspect that your child has SDB or OSA, it’s important to consult with a pediatrician. The doctor will likely perform a sleep study in order to diagnose the condition. Treatment for SDB and OSA may include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight if needed, avoiding caffeine, and sleeping on one’s side instead of on the back. If these measures don’t work, your child may need to use a CPAP machine while sleeping.
A CPAP machine is a device that helps to keep the airway open during sleep. It is often used to treat children with SDB or OSA. Children who use a CPAP machine typically have a much better quality of life, as they are able to get more oxygen and enjoy improved daytime function.
The CPAP machine comes in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find one that is comfortable for your child. The mask fits over the nose and mouth and is connected to a small machine that sits next to the bed. The machine delivers pressurized air through the mask, which helps to keep the airway open and prevents apnea episodes.
CPAP therapy can be a little bit daunting for children at first, but with a little bit of adjustment they will get used to it. Most pediatricians recommend using the machine for at least four hours each night. As your child gets older and becomes more accustomed with the therapy, you may be able to reduce the amount of time that they use the machine.
Sleep-disordered breathing can have a serious impact on your child’s quality of life, so it’s important to get treatment, if needed. For more information on SDB and OSA in children, please visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website.
It’s important to identify and address sleep-disordered breathing as soon as possible. If you suspect that your child may have SDB or OSA, it is advisable to consult with a pediatrician right away. The doctor will likely perform a sleep study in order to diagnose the condition and provide treatment for children who need CPAP therapy machines. For more information on how this works and what symptoms may indicate SDB or OSA, call us today. With the right diagnosis and treatment, we can help your child sleep restfully and get the most out of their daytime activities.