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How Young Can You Get Sleep Apnea

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What Are The Health Risks Of Sleep Apnea

How We Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can lead to sleep deprivation from constant nightly interruptions and shallower overall sleep. Lack of sleep is associated with far-reaching health consequences that affect a person physically, mentally, and emotionally, and as a result, it comes as no surprise that sleep apnea has been tied to diverse health problems.

Because of how it affects oxygen balance in the body, untreated sleep apnea raises dangers for various types of cardiovascular issues including high blood pressure, heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Treatment

Treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea depends on what the cause is.

If your child has severe sleep apnoea and enlarged adenoids or tonsils are the cause, doctors usually recommend tonsillectomysurgery to remove them. Mild sleep apnoea often gets better without surgery over time.

If your doctor thinks hay fever or allergy is the cause, the doctor might suggest a trial of nasal corticosteroids or medication for a few weeks.

If obesity is part of the cause, your doctor will recommend a weight and exercise program.

Some children who have special medical conditions or severe cases of obstructive sleep apnoea might need to use a Continuous Positive Airways Pressure machine. Your child will see a sleep specialist or respiratory physician to arrange this.

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.

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Can Sleep Apnea Go Away

For the most part, sleep apnea is a chronic condition that does not go away. Anatomy tends to remain fixed, especially after adolescence has ended. Therefore, children with sleep apnea may retain hope for the condition being successfully and definitively treated. The removal of tonsils and adenoids with tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy may be very beneficial for children with sleep apnea. The treatment of allergies and expansion of the hard palate with an orthodontic therapy called rapid maxillary expansion may prove helpful. After growth has ended, there remain additional treatment options.

Teenagers who have completed puberty and other adults have surgical options available to them that may prove useful. The most successful is jaw advancement surgery. This procedure, also called maxillo-mandibular advancement, can be highly effective, resolving sleep apnea in upwards of 80% of people. It involves major surgery in which the jawbones are surgically broken, moved forward, and then fixed in place, typically with titanium screws and plates. This changes the facial profile. Recovery typically takes several months.

In addition, there are some risk factors that are modifiable with other changes that do not require surgery.

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

Heavy snoring can be quite bothersome for you and everyone ...

    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.

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    Your Throat Muscles Relax As You Age

    The aging process as a whole plays a big role in the progression of sleep apnea. Over time, your throat muscles become more relaxed, much like your skin, facial features, and other parts of your body. Because your muscles do not have the elasticity they once had, they are not able to hold up your tongue like theyre supposed to. As you get older, you become more at risk of developing sleep apnea from basic anatomy changes.

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment

    The treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is based on its cause. Since enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children, surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids is usually the recommended treatment . An ear, nose and throat specialist will evaluate for and make the recommendation for surgical removal. Other types of surgery are occasionally needed in children with craniofacial abnormalities. Weight loss and treatment of other medical problems may also be helpful in the management of obstructive sleep apnea. Oftentimes, the child can be referred to the Healthy Weight Clinic, which can help focus on ways to improve health and contribute to healthy weight loss.

    In cases where surgery is not helpful, another effective treatment is continuous positive airway pressure . CPAP involves wearing a mask over the nose during sleep. This mask is attached to a machine that blows air through the nasal passages and into the airway. This will be managed by a lung specialist, or pulmonologist.

    If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can cause poor growth , high blood pressure and heart problems. Obstructive sleep apnea can also affect behavior and cognition. Therefore, it is important to get it evaluated early.

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    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.

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

    Does Your Child Have Sleep Apnea?

    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.

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    What Are Risk Factors For Infant Sleep Apnea

    Small preterm infants are most likely to have infant sleep apnea. It sometimes occurs in larger preterm or full-term infants. It is less common in infants under the age of six months.

    During the first month after birth it occurs in 84 percent of infants who weigh less than 2.2 pounds. The risk decreases to 25 percent for infants who weigh less than 5.5 pounds. It is rare in full-term newborns.

    In preterm infants, infant sleep apnea tends to appear between the second and seventh day of life. It is rare on the first day of life. Its presence at birth is usually a sign of another illness.

    A variety of medical conditions can cause infant sleep apnea or make it worse. These problems include:

    • Acid reflux
    • Seizures
    • Small upper airway

    A small percentage of children who die from sudden infant death syndrome have apnea symptoms prior to death. But infant sleep apnea has not been established as a risk factor for SIDS.

    What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing during sleep. It usually happens because something obstructs, or blocks, the upper airway. This is called obstructive sleep apnea .

    Obstructive sleep apnea interrupts sleep and can make the body’s oxygen levels fall or carbon dioxide levels rise. This can make kids miss out on healthy, restful sleep. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to learning, behavior, growth, and heart problems.

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    The Dangers Of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea

      Youve probably heard that regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet arethe most important things you can do for your cardiovascular health. As itturns out, though, the quality of sleep you receive is also critical toyour hearts wellbeing.

      In particular, undiagnosed sleep apnea is directly tied to an increased risk in cardiovascular and metabolic health. The scariest part? You might not even know you have this very common problem.

      Sleep apnea happens when upper airway muscles relax during sleep and pinch off the airway, which prevents you from getting enough air. Your breathing may pause for 10 seconds or more at a time, until your reflexes kick in and you start breathing again, explains Jonathan Jun, M.D. , a pulmonary and sleep medicine specialist at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center.

      Sleep apnea occurs in about 3 percent of normal weight individuals but affects over 20 percent of obese people, Jun says. In general, sleep apnea affects men more than women. However, sleep apnea rates increase sharply in women after menopause. Sleep apnea is often linked to heart disease and metabolic issues like diabetes.

      The Importance Of Testing

      What are the symptoms of sleep apnea if you can

      Adequate testing is important because sleep apnea is sometimes overlooked in children. This can happen when a child doesnt display typical symptoms of the disorder.

      For example, instead of snoring and taking frequent daytime naps, a child with sleep apnea may become hyperactive, irritable, and develop mood swings, resulting in the diagnosis of a behavioral problem.

      If your child meets the criteria for sleep apnea and exhibits hyperactivity or symptoms of behavioral problems, see their doctor.

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      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 childs 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 childs 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.

      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.

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      Causes Of Sleep Apnea

      The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children is enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. Both the tonsils and adenoids are lymph tissue. The tonsils are located in the back of the throat, and the adenoids are located at the back of the nose. During sleep there is a considerable decrease in muscle tone, which affects the airway and breathing. Many of these children have little difficulty breathing when awake however, with decreased muscle tone during sleep, the airway becomes smaller, and the tonsils and adenoids block the airway. This makes the flow of air more difficult and increases the work the child has to do to breathe. It can be compared to breathing through a small, flimsy straw with the straw occasionally collapsing and blocking airflow. Many of the short pauses in breathing cause a brief arousal that increases muscle tone, opens the airway and allows the child to resume breathing.

      Although the actual number of minutes of arousal during the night may be small, the repeated disruptions can result in a poor night’s sleep, which can lead to significant daytime problems in children. The child is usually unaware of waking up because he/she is not waking up completely. The parents often describe the child as a very restless sleeper.

      Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

      SUBJECT Child Sleep Apnea

      One of the most prominent long-term consequences of pediatric sleep apnea is the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. In fact, up to 95% of obstructive sleep apnea patients have some level of attentional problems. This has led to a high rate of misdiagnosis of ADHD, as some children labeled as having ADHD may actually be experiencing attentional issues related to a sleep disorder.

      When adults and children become sleep deprived, they manifest very different symptoms. While adults tend to feel sluggish and tired, children may have the opposite reaction, showing behavioral issues. Sleep deprived children often become keyed up, moody, and defiant. They may also have difficulty focusing, sitting still at school or at home, and behaving appropriately with their peers. These symptoms have a high degree of overlap with symptoms of ADHD, leading to frequent misdiagnosis of ADHD and sleep apnea. The good news is that many children who are treated for sleep apnea have a reversal in their attentional difficulties and behavioral issues. In some cases, they no longer meet criteria for ADHD.

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      How To Get Rid Of Sleep Apnea

      If youve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or even suspect you may have it, you probably know that its important to have it treated before it leads to other, more serious health conditions. The good news is that most cases of sleep apnea can be easily treated. The even better news is that many cases of obstructive sleep apnea can be completely cured. If you arent sure how to get rid of sleep apnea, dont stress because we have provided information on how to cure sleep apnea, as well as sleep apnea treatments without CPAP equipment.

      Tips To Improve Health And Comfort

      Choose a CPAP device with a built-in humidifier. Most devices now include a built-in humidifier, which helps prevent the dryness and skin irritation that can sometimes occur.

      If youre experiencing nasal congestion, you may prefer a full-face mask over a nasal or nasal pillow mask. Also be sure to keep your humidifier tank full, keep your tubing and mask clean, and make sure your filter is clean. Nasal sprays and antihistamines also help.

      Keep your device clean. Its very important to clean your CPAP hose, nosepiece or mask, and humidifier tub regularly, as a dirty CPAP device can cause infections and even pneumonia. Your sleep doctor and device manufacturer will give you detailed cleaning instructions.

      To ensure maximum comfort, ask your doctor about soft pads to reduce skin irritation, nasal pillows for nose discomfort, and chinstraps to keep your mouth closed and reduce throat irritation and dry mouth.

      Mask the sound of the CPAP machine. Most new CPAP devices are quiet, but if the sound of your CPAP machine bothers you, try placing it beneath the bed and using a sound machine to muffle the noise.

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      What Are The Effects Of Sleep Apnea

      If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a number of health problems including hypertension, stroke, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy , heart failure, diabetes, obesity and heart attacks.

      Its likely that sleep apnea can cause arrhythmias and heart failure because if you have sleep apnea, you tend to have higher blood pressure. In fact, sleep apnea occurs in about 50% of people with heart failure or atrial fibrillation.

      This is because sleep apnea can cause:

      • Repeated episodes of oxygen lowering .
      • Changes in carbon dioxide levels.
      • Direct effects on the heart due to pressure changes within the chest.
      • Increased levels of markers of inflammation.

      With the high prevalence of sleep apnea in cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure , experts recommend that you dont delay in seeking the advice of your physician.

      Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2020.


      Top 10 Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea In Children

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      As parents, you want the best for your child. One of your biggest fears is that something would come along to compromise the health of your child or place that health at risk. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects nearly three percent of children, according to a scholarly article appearing in the Korean Journal of Pediatrics.

      That is why it is so important for you to be on the lookout for these:

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