What Are the Common Types of Sleep Disordered Breathing?

What Are the Common Types of Sleep Disordered Breathing?

April 1, 2022

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Sleep apnea is a common separated breathing disorder affecting millions including children. Pediatric sleep apnea causes children to pause breathing when shipping. Children are generally affected by obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

The reasons for obstructive sleep apnea is a blockage at the back of the throat or nose. Central sleep apnea occurs when part of the brain responsible for breathing doesn’t function efficiently and stops sending breathing muscles the signals to breathe. The frequency of snoring is all the primary differences between the two types of sleep apnea. While snoring occurs with central sleep apnea is more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea. The differences are because the snoring is related to airway obstruction.

Sleep related breathing disorders affect between seven and 11 percent of children and around 90 percent of children are undiagnosed. However studies indicate that obstructive sleep apnea affects one to five percent of children between two and eight years old. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common than central sleep apnea in children and adults.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Children

Obstructive and central sleep apnea have similar symptoms besides the differences in the frequency of snoring. Symptoms affecting children with obstructive sleep apnea include loud snoring, coughing or choking when sleeping, mouth breathing, pauses when breathing, bedwetting, and sleeping in unusual positions.

The symptoms of sleep apnea don’t occur only at night because daytime symptoms can include fatigue, challenges waking up in the morning and a restless nights sleep. Infants and young children with sleep apnea may not small if they have central sleep apnea. Disturbed sleep is one design of sleep apnea in this particular group.

The Effects of Untreated Sleep Apnea among Children

The effects of untreated sleep apnea among children leads to lengthy periods of disturbed sleep resulting in chronic daytime fatigue. Children with untreated apnea may confront challenges paying attention in school to result in learning problems and poor academic performance.

Hyperactivity is also familiar in some children resulting in misdiagnosis of their condition with ADHD. Studies reveal that the sleeping disorder may cause symptoms similar to ADHD but when children receive treatment for ADHD it helps lessen sleep apnea symptoms.

Thriving socially is also a challenge confronting children with untreated sleep apnea. In severe cases untreated sleep apnea results in delayed growth, cognitive delays, and cardiac problems. The complications improve significantly if sleep apnea is treated correctly. Unfortunately if it is left undiagnosed children can suffer from high blood pressure and childhood obesity.

Sleep Apnea Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of sleep apnea are entirely different in obstructive and central sleep apnea.

With obstructive sleep apnea children’s muscles at the back of the throat collapse when they are asleep making it challenging to breathe.

In central sleep apnea the muscles controlling the breathing fail to activate. Central sleep apnea is rare in children outside the newborn period.

Risk factors of sleep apnea in children differ from the risk factors for a similar condition for adults.

Obesity is the primary trigger in adults for sleep apnea being overweight contributes to obstructive sleep apnea in children. Some children also have obstructive sleep apnea because of enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Other risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea in children include a family history of the condition, having medical conditions like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, sickle-cell disease, and abnormalities of the skull and face. Having a large tongue also results in obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis in Children

If you suspect your child has sleep apnea do not delay getting them treatment but schedule an appointment with the pediatric dentist in Bozeman for a diagnosis. The professional matter for you to a sleep specialist to correctly diagnose sleep apnea. The sleep specialist will request your child’s symptoms before performing a physical exam and schedule a safe study if required.

Proper testing is essential because sleep apnea is often overlooked in children. If your child doesn’t display the typical symptoms of this disorder the testing might be overlooked even by specialists. For example instead of taking daytime naps or snoring the child may become hyperactive, develop mood swings and become irritable result in a diagnosis of a behavioral issue.

Treatment for Children’s Sleep Apnea

No universal guidelines have been set aside for treating sleep apnea in children. If your child displays mild symptoms the doctor might decide not to treat the condition. Many children outgrow sleep apnea causing the doctor to monitor their condition looking for improvements. Children with obstructive sleep apnea are recommended diet and surgery as a treatment modality while children with central sleep apnea are recommended treatments like diet and treating conditions.

Lifestyle changes like physical activity and diet to treat sleep apnea are usually recommendations made by doctors to treat sleep apnea if your child is obese. They might also recommend topical nasal steroids to relieve nasal congestion in children for around three months.

If your child has enlarged tonsils or adenoids along with obstructive sleep apnea surgery is recommended to open your child’s airway.

Oral appliances are also recommended by children as a treatment for sleep apnea. These appliances are designed to keep the jaw forward, keep the tongue in place and help the airway remain open. Oral appliances are well tolerated by children making it likely for them to use the device every night.

Sleep apnea treatment is effective for children and help relieve the symptoms children confront. However if left untreated sleep apnea causes severe problems resulting in medical conditions and overall health problems for children and adults. Therefore if your child displays any symptoms of sleep apnea request an appointment with Bridger children’s dentistry for evaluating and treating them.