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How Common Is Sleep Apnea In Babies

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An Introduction To The Importance Of Sleep In Children And How To Help Them Sleep Better

Sleep is an essential building block for your child’s mental and physical health. But if you’re finding it impossible to help your toddler sleep, you’re not alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that sleep problems affect 25 to 50 percent of children and 40 percent of adolescents.

Understanding their sleep needs is the first step towards providing better sleep for your children. Through a combination of sleep hygiene, age-appropriate routines, and close attention to any sleep disorders, you can help your child get the rest they need to grow up strong and healthy.

Sleep Apnea In Children: Recognizing The Symptoms And Getting Your Child Treatment

    The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 1% to 4% of children may have Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea in kids can also contribute to hyperactivity and attention issues, and leads to more serious medical complications. Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in children can be caused by many different risk factors. Read on to learn how Sleep Apnea could possibly be impacting your child.

    The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that Sleep Apnea affects between 1% to 4% of children, and many of these children are between 2 and 8 years of age. Although it’s possible for children to outgrow Sleep Apnea, these sleep disorders can still cause many problems for children while they persist.

    According to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine poor sleep makes it difficult for children to pay attention and may increase hyperactivity, while apnea is also associated with heart problems, learning difficulties, behavioral issues, and delayed growth. Since Sleep Apnea has such an impact on a child’s overall health and well-being, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of pediatric Sleep Apnea. If your child has any symptoms, seek treatment immediately.

    What It Is How It Harms Chilrdrens’ Sleep And Health And How It Can Be Treated

    Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing is interrupted during sleep. These pauses in breathing affect sleep quality and can lead to daytime sleepiness and behavior issues in children.

    The two types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea . In OSA, a person tries to breathe but is unable to because of a constricted or blocked airway. In CSA, there is typically a lack of effort to inhale, so a person briefly stops taking breaths. Similar to adults, OSA is much more common in children than CSA.

    Researchers estimate that between 1-5% of children have obstructive sleep apnea. Although studies have shown obstructive sleep apnea to be relatively rare in children, it is also commonly underdiagnosed.

    Knowing the causes and symptoms of sleep apnea in children can help you determine when to see a pediatrician. There are tests available to diagnose sleep apnea and treatments that can help manage or resolve this condition.

    How To Get An Accurate Diagnosis And Treatment Plan For Childhood Sleep Apnea

    Fortunately, sleep apnea is a treatable condition. The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea. Although it is sometimes possible to make a diagnosis through clinical features alone, the gold standard for diagnosis of sleep apnea is polysomnography, commonly known as a sleep study. During polysomnography, sleep doctors will monitor brain waves, eye movements, heart and respiration patterns, blood oxygen levels, movements during sleep, and snoring. This can help your Seattle sleep specialist make an accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea.

    Following diagnosis of sleep apnea, there are several potential treatment options. First, your sleep doctor can determine if there is a physiological reason for your child’s sleep problems. For instance, enlarged tonsils are a common cause of this condition. As a result, tonsillectomy may be an appropriate treatment for some children. Weight loss may also be recommended if your child’s body weight may be contributing to the sleep problem.

    If enlarged tonsils or adenoids are not contributing to the sleep apnea, your Seattle sleep doctor may recommend the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine. CPAP therapy involves the use of a mask to deliver oxygen throughout the night. It is the best way to ensure that your child gets enough oxygen to fuel the brain and body during sleep.

    If you think your child has sleep apnea, please schedule an appointment with Sound Sleep Health in Seattle . Call us at 279-7151 today.

    Watch Out For Sleepwalking Bedwetting Snoring And Other Signs In Your Child

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    When referring to sleep apnea, you generally don’t think of a child as someone who is typically affected by the disorder. However, sleep apnea is increasingly diagnosed in children who are either sleep deprived or experience tell-tale signs of the disorder during or after sleep. Knowing the signs can help seek an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

    If left untreated, sleep apnea can have significant consequences on a child’s growth, well-being, and behavior.

    What Natural Treatments Are Available For Sleep Apnea In Children

    The following natural treatments may help reduce obstructive sleep apnea in children. A child’s healthcare provider will be in the best position to discuss the risks and benefits of the natural treatment listed below:

    • Weight loss: In children with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea, weight loss can alleviate symptoms. A pediatrician can assist with healthy diet and exercise planning. A dietician or nutritionist can also help create a weight loss plan. However, weight loss can take time, and a child with severe symptoms may benefit from initiating treatment that provides relief more quickly.
    • Avoiding allergens: It may be helpful to avoid substances—such as pollen and mold—that can cause allergic rhinitis . Allergic rhinitis leads to congestion and airway restriction, which contribute to sleep apnea symptoms.
    • Nasal breathing retraining: Nasal breathing retraining is a type of physical therapy that aims to strengthen the tongue and surrounding muscles to help a child breathe effectively at night. It may help reduce symptoms, but data is limited.
    • Positional therapy: Positional therapy involves training a person to sleep in a different position. It may be used in children whose sleep apnea occurs only when they sleep on their back. Elevating the head of the bed can also help alleviate sleep apnea. However, limited information is available about the effectiveness of positional therapy in children.

    Consequences Of Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children

    May 16, 2017 by Sound Sleep Health

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a very serious medical condition, affecting an estimated 25 million adults in the United States, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. However, the possibility of children developing sleep apnea is often overlooked. Individuals of any age can develop sleep apnea, and the consequences for children differ somewhat from those seen in adults. Learning about the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can ensure that your child gets an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

    Tips On How To Make Sure Your Child Gets A Full Nights Sleep

    Sleep needs change as your child grows older, but whether you’re dealing with a 2-year-old toddler or a stubborn teenager, research shows that a consistent bedtime routine is helpful for making sure your child gets enough sleep. Whatever activities you choose, try to do the same ones every day in the same order so your child knows what to expect.

    A typical bedtime routine might include:

    • Putting on pajamas and brushing teeth
    • Reading a light book, singing a lullaby, or taking a bath
    • Picking a stuffed animal or security blanket for the night for toddlers

    The best time to put your child to bed is when they’re sleepy, not when they’re already asleep. This helps them learn how to fall asleep on their own. If preschool children wake up in the middle of the night, walk them back to their bed. It’s best not to let infants sleep in your bed, as co-sleeping increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

    Can Babies Have Sleep Apnea A Look At Sleep Apnea In Babies

    Sleep issues

    Can babies have sleep apnea? With Mother’s Day this coming weekend, the sleep apnea blog takes a look at whether sleep apnea in babies should be a concern for today’s parent.

    The short answer is, unfortunately, yes. Sleep apnea in babies is a well-documented clinical condition, and it’s common enough to be broken down into two general categories: apnea of infancy and apnea of prematurity.

    We’ll explore these definitions in more detail in upcoming blog posts. For now, let’s get started with general information about sleep apnea in babies.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children

    For parents, early detection of sleep apnea symptoms can help your children get a prompt diagnosis and treatment. Some of the signs of sleep apnea include:

    • Snoring . Between 3 and 12% of children snore . Snoring is not a definitive sign of sleep apnea, but it can increase your child’s risk. In particular, it is important to listen to snores that result in snorts or gasps. Pauses in breathing while snoring can also be a sign of sleep apnea.
    • Heavy breathing while sleeping .
    • Very restless sleep . Children who move around a lot while they sleep may have sleep apnea. However, other sleep disorders can also cause restless sleep.
    • Sleeping in unusual positions . Most children sleep in odd positions on occasion. However, if you notice your child frequently sleeping in unusual positions, it may be a sign that the body is positioning itself in an attempt to get better airflow.
    • Bedwetting . A sudden change in urinary continence can be a sign of sleep apnea, particularly if child has not experienced previous problems with wetting the bed. However, this is not a definitive symptom of sleep apnea, as bedwetting can be triggered many several causes.
    • Daytime sleepiness . If your child seems tired or complains of feeling tired during the day, he or she may not be getting enough sleep. Chronic daytime sleepiness can be a sign of sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

    How Is Sleep Apnea Different Between Adults And Children

    Sleep apnea leads to poor-quality sleep in all affected people, but the daytime symptoms can be different between adults and children. Adults are more likely to exhibit daytime sleepiness and fatigue, while children are more likely to show behavior issues such as difficulty concentrating and hyperactivity.

    Additionally, sleep apnea is treated differently in children. In adults, the most common treatment is CPAP, while the most common treatment for children is surgery. Certain orthodontic treatments are only helpful in actively growing children and are not an option for adults with sleep apnea.

    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    When breathing stops, oxygen levels in the body drop and carbon dioxide levels rise. This usually triggers the brain to wake us up to breathe. Most of the time, this happens quickly and we go right back to sleep without knowing we woke up.

    This pattern can repeat itself all night in obstructive sleep apnea. So people who have it don’t reach a deeper, more restful level of sleep.

    Signs of obstructive sleep apnea in kids include:

    • snoring, often with pauses, snorts, or gasps
    • heavy breathing while sleeping

    Because it’s hard for them to get a good night’s sleep, kids might:

    • have a hard time waking up in the morning
    • be tired or fall asleep during the day
    • have trouble paying attention or be hyperactive

    As a result, obstructive sleep apnea can hurt school performance. Teachers and others may think a child has ADHD or learning problems.

    The Evaluation And Treatment Of Sleep Apnea In Children

    Can Sleep Apnea Cause Seizures #GrowingGrapesInOhio

    Children whose caregivers believe they may have sleep apnea can be evaluated by a pediatric sleep specialist. Because home sleep apnea testing is not approved for use in children, this could require an overnight sleep study at a sleep center.

    Treatment for sleep apnea in a children will be determined in large part based on the cause and may include allergy treatment, tonsillectomy, and an orthodontic protocol called rapid maxillary expansion. In some children, the use of continuous positive airway pressure machines may be helpful. As children grow closer to adult stature, other treatment options become available.

    Sleep apnea can have serious, long-lasting consequences on mental and physical development. It’s important to talk to your child’s pediatrician or a pediatric sleep specialist if you have reason to believe that your child may be experiencing sleep apnea.

    Sleep Apnea In Infants: Risks Symptoms And Treatments

    Is it normal when babysnores or stops breathing for a while whenasleep? Sleepapnea in infants can be serious, even fatal: we must allknow the risks,recognize thesymptoms and find the right treatments.Centralsleepapnea is themost common type in infants below 1 year old. When babyis under 6 months old, part of her normalbreathingpattern is to pausebreathing from time to time. Up to 15-20 seconds issaid to be normal. When your baby stops breathing for 20 seconds ormore it is time for action: consult your doctor. Other include gasping for breath after the pause andsnoring. Some babies will turn blue-ish.On the one hand, it is good to know that there is no need to worry whenyour baby stops breathing for a short while. But on the other hand,there is the risk of leaving true sleep apnea inbabies undiagnosed all too often.

    Sleep Apnea In Children: Diagnosing And Finding Help

    August 23, 2011August 23, 2011Fiona Tapp

    When a child is sick, it’s scary. Most illnesses are much more serious in children than they are in adults. Young kids don’t know how to adequately take care of themselves; they understand what it means to feel ill, but they can not be expected to identify their own health problems and seek treatment.

    Learn About Other Precautions To Help You Stay Safe

    Sleep apnea can increase your risks of complications if you are having surgery, and it can affect your ability to drive.

    • Before surgery. If you are having any type of surgery that requires medicine to put you to sleep or for pain management, let your surgeon and doctors know that you have sleep apnea. They might have to take extra steps to make sure that your upper airway stays open during the surgery and when selecting your pain medicines.
    • Driving precautions. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea can decrease learning capabilities, slow down decision making, and decrease attention span, which can result in drowsy driving.

    Pathophysiology Of Obstructive Patterns In Infancy

    OSA is characterized by increased upper airway resistance during sleep. The airwaynarrowing may be due to craniofacial abnormalities, soft tissue enlargement, and/orneuromotor dysregulation . Airway collapse occurs when theairway wall pressure exceeds the luminal pressure. In infants without laryngealabnormalities, the site of airway obstruction has been measured with multiplepressure transducers and found to be retropalatal in 52% and retroglossal in 48%. Neck position appears to be animportant determinant of airway collapsibility in infants. Neck flexion of 15–30degrees increases collapsibility by 4–5 cm H2O, whereas neck extensiondecreases collapsibility by 3–4 cm H2O . These changes are sufficient to be an important determinant ofairway patency during tidal breathing. By contrast, neck rotation appears to havelittle influence on airway collapsibility or respiratory pattern in most infants.

    Airway closure in infants may occur as a passive or active process producingdifferent polysomnographic patterns that are predicated on the predominantunderlying pathophysiology:

    What Is The Treatment For Sleep Apnea In Children

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    • Adenotonsillectomy: Childhood sleep apnea caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids may be cured by surgically removing the tonsils and adenoids.
    • Myofunctional therapy: Mouth and throat exercises, also known as “myofunctional therapy” or “oropharyngeal exercises,” have been shown to improve obstructive sleep apnea and snoring in children.
    • Orthodontics: Rapid maxillary expansion and mandibular advancement devices are orthodontic approaches that use dental hardware to create more space in the mouth and improve the flow of air through the airway.
    • CPAP: Also called continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP is a machine that continuously pumps air into the airway. CPAP users wear a mask attached to a pump while they are sleeping. Sleeping with a CPAP mask can be a difficult adjustment for children and may require behavioral support.
    • Treatment of allergies and sinus inflammation: Medications, such as a steroid nasal spray, saline nasal rinses, and/or other allergy medications, may be an option for children with mild sleep apnea symptoms. These medications can reduce airway constriction and poor tongue posture caused by constantly breathing through the mouth. Allergy treatment is often done in conjunction with other treatment options.

    What Happens When Children Dont Get Enough Sleep

    As every parent knows, a child that’s short on sleep can swing between being grumpy and hyperactive, with effects that can mimic ADHD. Sleepiness can also affect your child’s ability to pay attention, with ramifications for their performance in school. Even minimal sleep restriction can have effects on your child’s day-to-day life.

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , a quarter of children under the age of 5 don’t get adequate sleep. This is worrying because poor sleep in early childhood has been linked to allergic rhinitis and problems with the immune system, as well as anxiety and depression. There is also emerging evidence that poor sleep in childhood may carry future cardiovascular risks in the form of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

    In adolescents, inadequate sleep can have long-term effects on academic performance and mental health. The American Medical Association, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Academy of Pediatrics consider chronic sleep loss in adolescents to be a public health problem. It is a risk factor for substance abuse and mental health problems, as well as more immediate problems such as car crashes and sports injuries.

    What Causes Sleep Apnea In Toddlers And Children

    Enlarged adenoids and tonsils are the most common cause of Sleep Apnea in toddlers and children. When the tonsils are enlarged the airway can become blocked during sleep, causing apneas to occur.

    Some of the risk factors for Sleep Apnea in children include:

    • Being overweight
    • Family history of Sleep Apnea
    • Large tongue, which may fall back and block the airway while sleeping
    • Certain medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy or Down syndrome
    • Larger neck
    • Defects in the structures of the throat, jaw, or mouth that narrow the airway

    In rare cases, Sleep Apnea may occur when the brain isn’t sending signals to the muscles controlling breathing, resulting in a lack of oxygen in the body. This is known as Central Sleep Apnea and may be caused by head injuries or other conditions that affect the brain. However, Central Sleep Apnea more commonly affects older adults.

    Healthy Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Sleep Apnea

    Sleep Apnea In Babies: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment ...

    If you are concerned about having risk factors for developing sleep apnea, ask your doctor to recommend healthy lifestyle changes, including eating a heart-healthy diet, aiming for a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake. Your doctor may recommend that you sleep on your side and adopt healthy sleep habits such as getting the recommended amount of sleep.

    What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children

    There are several causes of obstructive sleep apnea in children:

    • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids: A widely recognized risk factor for childhood OSA is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Tonsils and adenoids are glands located at the back of the throat and are part of the immune system. The tonsils and adenoids may be enlarged due to genetics, frequent infections, or inflammation. When enlarged, these glands constrict the airway, making breathing during sleep more difficult.
    • Childhood obesity: OSA in children is also frequently caused by obesity, which also constricts the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs in 60% of obese children.
    • Other risk factors: Other causes of OSA include having a small jaw or an overbite, the use of sedatives or opioids, and tongue and throat muscle weakness due to conditions like Down syndrome or cerebral palsy. Having nasal allergies, being around adults who smoke, and having a family history of obstructive sleep apnea are also found to be risk factors for childhood OSA.

    What Symptoms Do Children With Sleep Apnea Show

    It is vital for parents stay up-to-date on potential health risks that could affect their children. Many parents keep an eye out for symptoms of extremely common illnesses like the flu or chickenpox; they may not know how common Sleep Apnea is in children, so they don’t recognize the symptoms. When Sleep Apnea goes undiagnosed, especially in children, additional serious medical problems can arise. Adults must be able to readily identify the symptoms of sleeping disorders like sleep apnea in young children.

    Prone to Respiratory Infections: Sleep Apnea is common in children who experience frequent, repetitive infections in the respiratory system. Respiratory infections can compromise the muscles and tissues that help keep the airway open during sleep.

    How Is Central Sleep Apnoea Syndrome Diagnosed

    Breathing difficulties while sleeping can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, so a range of diagnostic tests may be needed to confirm or rule out CSA. Sleep studies are the main method of investigating CSA. A sleep study usually means an overnight stay in a sleep unit, where measurements of the child’s breathing during sleep are recorded by technologists/physiologists experienced in working with children. The measurements are recorded using stick-on or wrap-around sensors and include respiratory rate, heart rate, oxygen saturation, chest wall movement, airflow, measurement of CO2, video and sound recording. The results are then interpreted by a paediatric sleep consultant, who can make a diagnosis of CSA.

    Ruling Out Other Medical Reasons Or Conditions

    Your doctor may order the following tests to help rule out other medical conditions that can cause sleep apnea:

    • Blood tests to check the levels of certain hormones and to rule out endocrine disorders that could be contributing to sleep apnea. Thyroid hormone can rule out hypothyroidism. Growth hormone tests can rule out acromegaly. Total testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate tests can help rule out polycystic ovary syndrome .
    • Pelvic ultrasound to examine the ovaries and detect cysts. This can rule out PCOS.

    Your doctor will also want to know whether you are using medicines, such as opioids, that could be affecting your sleep or causing breathing symptoms of sleep apnea. Your doctor may want to know whether you have traveled recently to altitudes greater than 6,000 feet, because these low-oxygen environments can cause symptoms of sleep apnea for a few weeks after traveling.

    Ontogeny Of Airway And Respiratory Physiology

    The infant upper airway is a highly compliant conduit in which a 2-cm H2Ochange in luminal pressure results in a 50% reduction in cross-sectional area . This property results in rapid changesin the caliber of the airway contributing to ventilatory instability, and thereforeobstructive cycling. Airway muscle activity modulates the cross-sectional area andthe compliance of the airway. Although term and preterm infants show a briskgenioglossal EMG response to upper airway occlusion or increased resistance duringsleep , an immediate and sustained decline in minute ventilationis observed . The mean airway closing pressure for infants at 2 monthsof age is –0.5 cm H2O under complete paralysis during anesthesia and is –0.7 ± 2 cm H2O inpostmortem studies . Thus, in theabsence of muscle activity the viscoelastic airway closing pressure is close toatmospheric pressure, indicating a high risk for collapse. During the first year oflife, the infant’s airway becomes more stable, with a reduction in the passiveclosing pressure to –6 cm H2O . During sleep, however, the closing pressure in infants is less than–25 cm H2O, indicating the effectiveness of neuromuscular activation tosustain pharyngeal patency . Infantswith neuromuscular weakness may have impaired motor control of upper airway dilatorscontributing to OSA.


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