Pediatric Sleep Apnea
Sleep is important for your child’s growth, development, heart and lungs. Sleep apnea can affect your child’s health and their ability to learn and grow. Sleep apnea occurs when a person briefly stops breathing during sleep. It can range from being a mild condition to a serious problem. There are three different kinds of sleep apnea.
Obstructive: This is caused when your child’s throat muscles relax during sleep, or there is a blockage to their airway
Central: This is caused when your child’s brain fails to signal the muscles that control their breathing
Complex: This occurs if your child has both central and obstructive sleep apnea
What are risk factors for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is more likely to occur in children with any of the following:
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
During waking hours:
Diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea
Your health care provider will do a physical exam of your child’s mouth, neck, and throat. The parent will be asked about the child’s sleep habits and sleep history. A sleep study is sometimes used to confirm sleep apnea. Treatment may involve the following:
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which is a type of facemask that will improve your child’s breathing during sleep
Inhaled nasal steroids
Dental devices to modify your child’s jaw alignment while they sleep