Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Childhood Sleep Apnea

Well, it has been some time since I got a chance to post.  This time, I would like to share a little on a topic that has touched us recently, and hopefully leave a resource for other parents whose children may be affected by sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the person affected stops breathing during sleep.  It is estimated that 1 to 4 percent of children have sleep apnea.  There is much speculation that number may be higher, as the belief is that many children with sleep apnea are misdiagnosed with ADHD or depression.  The symptoms of sleep apnea in children do not necessarily mimic adult symptoms.  While excessive sleepiness may occur, the following is a list of ways in which sleep apnea may (children will probably not experience every item on the list) impact a child:
  • snoring - loud, squeaky, raspy
  • nocturnal snorting, gasping, choking (may wake self up)
  • restless sleep
  • heavy irregular breathing
  • excessive perspiring during sleep
  • severe bedwetting
  • bad dreams (nightmares)
  • night terrors
  • sleeps with mouth open, causing a dry mouth upon awakening
  • chest retraction during sleep in young children (chest pulls in)
  • sleeps in strange positions
  • confusion upon awakening
  • morning headaches
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • may develop high blood pressure
  • may be overweight or underweight
  • learning problems
  • excessive irritability
  • change in personality
  • depression
  • difficulty concentrating
  • Developmental problems
  • failure to thrive or grow
  • frequent upper respiratory infections
  • hyperactive behavior
  • The type of sleep apnea which is most
The easiest way to recognize sleep apnea in adults is loud snoring.  Sleep apnea in children may easily go unrecognized by parents, as children sleep alone, and snoring is not necessarily an issue.  Because of the medical issues that can be caused by sleep apnea, and for the well being of the person affected, it is very important to properly diagnose and treat this condition in children and adults. 

Here is the website from which I took much of this information:
In my next post, I will include video of Sweet Pea sleeping both before having his tonsils and adenoids out and after.  I hope these will be most helpful to parents who suspect their child may have sleep apnea.  It has been only one week since his surgery, and there are huge diferences in how he sleeps, and how he sounds when he sleeps.......................