Sleep apnea is a general term given to breathing difficulties that occur during sleep. Most often characterized by loud snoring, as in obstructive sleep apnea, the condition can affect adults and children.
Some children snore when they sleep. In fact, approximately 10% of all children exhibit loud snoring when they sleep. The snoring is regular and occurs even if the child does not have a stuffed-up nose or allergies. Of the 10% of children who snore, about 2-4% have sleep apnea.
Just because a child snores does not mean that they will develop or have sleep apnea. However, recent studies indicate that when a child snores they may develop sleep-disordered breathing, which could cause obstructive sleep apnea.
What to Look For – Children’s Sleep Apnea?
The symptoms vary, but the most obvious one in a child with sleep apnea is loud snoring. The parent can easily monitor their child’s sleep to see if loud snoring occurs. There are times when the loud snoring is interrupted by gasping and snorting noises, followed by sudden awakenings periodically through the night.
The awakenings, although brief, interrupt the sleep cycle and affect the quality of sleep the child gets. Due to the issue, the child may be moody or irritable during the day, have difficulty at school
Children may also exhibit symptoms that are opposite of sluggishness during the day. A child that is hyperactive and overly busy during the day may also be due to impactful sleep interruptions occurring at night.
One of the most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea in children is bedwetting. If your child snores and night and occasionally wets the bed, it is important to discuss the information with your doctor for further assessment.
How Sleep Apnea is Diagnosed in Children
Your Phoenix sleep doctor will make note of the information provided from the parent. The information that is critical in making an assessment is unexplained bedwetting, hyperactivity, loud snoring at night, frequent snorting or gasping for air during sleep, poor behavior and school performance. While not every child exhibits behavioral problems or poor school performance, these are areas that should be examined.
Your Phoenix sleep clinic doctor may make a diagnosis based on a physical examination and the history provided by the parent. In some cases further testing is required, especially if the child is overweight or there are neuromuscular disorders. A sleep study may be required to accurately determine if your child has sleep apnea and what the cause of the condition is. The Phoenix sleep specialist will design a treatment plan based on the diagnosis and evaluation.
Infinity Sleep Solutions is the premier sleep clinic in Phoenix with 2 locations. One is in Phoenix, the other is in Surprise AZ. Most insurance is accepted, and the Phoenix sleep lab offers sleep studies for both children and adults. Call today!