If your child is tired a lot during the day and experiences difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or extracurricular activities, sleep apnea may be the reason why your precious son or daughter is struggling to stay alert after a “full night’s” sleep.
This serious sleep disorder interferes with proper oxygen flow during sleep, making it almost impossible for young sleep apnea sufferers to feel fresh when they wake up in the morning. In fact, waking up “out of sorts” and headache-y is very common among people with this disease.
For kids with undiagnosed sleep apnea, scholastic and social problems may surface, solely as a result of constant fatigue and the lethargy and irritability that it causes…
Mood Swings are Common in Kids with Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea
A child with sleep apnea may also cycle through plenty of mood swings during the daytime hours; sometimes, crying jags and temper tantrums will occur on a regular basis. If these symptoms sound all too familiar, it may be time to consider your son or daughter’s sleeping habits and how they might be affecting his or her general health.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Children
The most common form of childhood sleep apnea is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. This disorder may trigger a wide range of symptoms; however, the most telltale sign is snoring. If your child snores and also exhibits other sleep apnea symptoms, including weight gain, bed-wetting, gasping during sleep, frequent headaches, night terrors, and sweating during sleep, he or she may be suffering from undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea.
Other signs of sleep apnea are learning problems that are related to excessive daytime fatigue. Personality changes may begin to surface in your child, and these are rarely positive. Some kids may be more prone to infections of the upper airway, as well as slower growth rates and hyperactivity. Certain kids will be withdrawn, while others will act out. If two or more of these symptoms are present in your son or daughter, it is definitely time to speak to a qualified sleep disorder specialist.
Some parents assume that their children are suffering from emotional problems or innate learning disabilities, when their kids are simply sleep-deprived every single day. Before giving your child medications to combat hyperactivity, it’s important to rule out sleep apnea as a root cause. In some cases, treatment with CPAP machines and nasal pillows will reverse negative mood disorders without psychoactive drugs, such as Ritalin.
Treatments for Childhood Sleep Apnea
Some children may require Adenotonsillectomy surgery to correct breathing problems during sleep. Other may require diets to combat any weight gain that exacerbates childhood sleep apnea. However, these treatments do not work for every child with obstructive sleep apnea.
For most children, positive-pressure therapy with a high-quality CPAP machine and soft, comfortable nasal pillow will give the best results. One added benefit of this type of therapy is that it is totally non-invasive. Operations or drugs are not required to relieve the symptoms of this childhood sleep disorder.
If you suspect that your child is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, get your son or daughter help before their problem take a significant toll on other areas of their life.
An investment in non-invasive sleep apnea treatments will be an investment in your child’s future and his or her overall health and happiness.