Sleep Apnea is one of the most common sleep-disordered breathing that can be seen in toddlers and teenagers. It is important to detect the symptoms early to get a better diagnosis. You, as a parent, might not know that your child is suffering from sleep disorders which eventually end up affecting their mental health as well. Let's look into it briefly as to precisely what is sleep apnea.
Pediatric sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that has an impact on children's respiratory patterns while they are sleeping. Their breathing gets partially or completely blocked during sleep. Many Paediatric Respiratory Physician in Manchester believe that between 7 to 11 percent of children have a nighttime breathing disorder. However, there are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea.
The symptoms of these three apneas are somewhat similar. They can occur during the day time so parents need to look for these signs so that they can get their child treated immediately.
You might have caught your child snoring when they get a cold or a blocked nose, which is of course normal but if the snoring persists then it demands your attention. However, snoring can also be the cause of some allergies or enlarged tonsils. Normally kids should never experience chronic snoring. So when a situation like this arises you should visit or consult a doctor.
Another indication of sleep apnea in youngsters is mouth breathing. Humans are designed to be nasal breathers, but when a blockage occurs, they tend to breathe via the mouth. If your child is experiencing such things, it is important that you pay attention to their breathing patterns. According to studies, most mouth breathers develop sleep apnea if it is not treated.
Normally sweating occurs when the weather is humid or your child has a fever. Waking up drenched in perspiration can be an alarming sign of sleep apnea. They might struggle to breathe during their sleep. It is known to increase the stress hormone while decreasing the oxygen levels which spikes the blood pressure and heart rate.
Waking up frequently
Reports show that children with sleep apnea find it difficult to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern. They often woke up in the middle of the night to catch up on breathing as they are always out of breath. This causes hormones to race through their bodies which ruin their schedule. Children are known to be restless sleepers but as a parent, you need to understand that extreme restlessness comes with a lot of health problems, one of them being sleep apnea.
Sleepwalking among children is very rare. It is often associated with confusional arousal because after waking up from their slumber they remain in a confused, subconscious state. You need to notice at what time your child wakes up, though it will occur on the first third of every night, jotting the information down will help them to get a better diagnosis since it is the cause of sleep apnea.
Kids with poor concentration often are the victims of sleep apnea. They will be more lethargic or might doze off during their daily activities. Taking excessive naps during the daytime or showing hyperactive behaviors are classified as red flags. These all indicate that your child is tired and they require some medical attention.
However, there are some other signs of sleep apnea like ADHD, night terrors, posturing, and failing in academics. A recent news report from the UK shows that Respiratory paediatrician in Manchester, have recently faced a high number rise in sleep apnea patients and they share the diagnosis after referring them to a sleep specialist. Whereas the medical diagnosis involves treatments and therapy sessions, parents can try some home remedies that can be of some aid.
Here are some home remedies that are proven to be effective-
- Changing or altering your child’s sleep pattern.
- Encouraging them to practice some outdoor exercises like yoga.
- Manifesting a healthy diet to prevent obesity.
- Use a humidifier in your child’s room to help retain the moisture.
- Give an oral appliance to wear at night to help them keep up their breathing pattern.
If the situation worsens then call the doctor immediately.
Sleep apnea has become one of the most engaging topics in the medical field. Various treatments have come up in recent years. Machines like CPAP, BiPAP, and ASV are flooding the markets. Nasal drops or decongestants are also suitable options when it comes to treating sleep apnea. It helps clear away the tract which makes breathing easier. Doctors might also consider doing a UAS(upper airway stimulation), which is a small electrical device that is placed on the chest. Some often look for surgeries but that is not safe for kids under 12. While getting your child treated you should look into the options and consider the best possible one.
There are certain facts about sleep apnea that parents need to be aware of. It can occur at any age even in your infants the symptoms might appear. It worsens with age and many times you don't even that you have been under the spell of sleep apnea. It can result in major medical issues if overlooked and left untreated. High blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and depression are some of these issues. The most important risk factor for sleep apnea is excess body weight. Getting closer to a healthy weight can help improve breathing during sleep. For some children, sleep apnea mostly occurs while sleeping on their backs. In that case, using positional therapy to promote side sleeping can help.
A recent study showed that sleep apnea is very common among these ethnicities- Native Americans, Hispanics, and Africans. However, researchers are still trying to find out the reason behind the growing cases of this illness. The most crucial fact about this sleeping problem that every parent should be aware of is that it might result in death. It raises the possibility of cardiac failure, which brings in early death.