Pediatric Sleep Disorders Treatment Center Q&A
Pediatric sleep disorders are conditions that can manifest in infants, children, and adolescents and are characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and possible sleep deprivation. If your child is suffering from sleep disorders, come to Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders and talk to our providers. For more information, call us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
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Sleep disorders can have serious physical and mental health effects that can interfere with a child’s development. It is essential for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of pediatric sleep disorders to recognize and address any issues as early as possible. In recent years, research has increased our understanding of the causes and treatments for pediatric sleep disorders, which is a positive step forward for affected children and their families.
Sleep disorders in children are a growing concern among parents and medical professionals alike. While adults can suffer from many of the same sleep issues as children, such as insomnia and sleep apnea, children are more prone to different issues, such as night terrors and parasomnias. One of the most common sleep disorders among children is primary insomnia, which is difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep. Other common issues include bruxism, snoring, and sleep apnea. Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is another sleep problem common in childhood.
Disordered sleeping in children is often made evident by the following signs:
– Problems with bedtime — Also described as poor sleep routine (or poor sleep hygiene), any problems with bedtime, such as dealing with a child’s stalling, tantrums, and other resistance to going to sleep, can be a sign of a sleeping disorder.
– Difficulties falling asleep — Problems falling asleep may be the result of consistent improper sleep hygiene practices, or if an infant or child does not learn self-calming.
– Night waking or difficulties staying asleep — Waking up during the night or trouble falling back asleep can be the result of external stimuli, such as loud noises or bright lights. It may even be caused by internal stimuli, such as hunger or intense emotions.
– Excessive daytime sleepiness — Often caused by sleep deprivation, excessive daytime sleepiness is typically observed in adolescents who do not receive adequate quality sleep.
The treatments for pediatric sleep disorders can vary significantly from one situation to the next, depending on several factors, such as:
– The type of sleep disorder
– How long it has been causing problems
– Its impact on quality of life
– History of treatments
When treating pediatric patients, it is important to obtain a proper diagnosis. Testing for sleep apnea may include an overnight sleep study, oximetry and an electrocardiogram.
Next, your doctor will work with you to determine the most appropriate treatment method for your child. Many doctors will look to non-invasive, low-risk and non-pharmaceutical therapies first. However, it may be necessary to employ medications such as topical nasal steroids and allergy relief medications. Removal of the tonsils and adenoids may be prescribed for moderate to severe sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is often culpable for childhood sleeping problems and can be masked by or contribute to ADHD in children. Where tired adults are sleepy, tired children often exhibit hyperactivity.
Oral appliances may be recommended. Some devices work two-fold in that they assist in keeping the airway open while simultaneously helping to expand the palate and nasal passages, and to properly develop the jaw.
Another treatment method, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), sends air pressure into the back of the throat to keep the child’s airway open. Proper fitting of the mask and mask adjustments as the child grows can help the child to tolerate the mask on their face.
Preparing for your appointment
Often, the first course of action is seeing your child’s primary care provider. You may also be immediately referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist or a sleep team.
Below is some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do:
Keep a list of:
– Your child’s symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
– All medications, vitamins or other supplements your child takes, as well as the dosage
– Any and All Questions you or your child have.
Here are some basic questions to ask your doctor about pediatric OSA:
– What tests are needed?
– Is this condition acute or chronic?
– What’s the best course of action?
– Are there alternatives?
– Should I take my child to a specialist?
– Are there resources you can recommend or provide with more information?
Don’t hesitate to ask other questions.
If your child is having trouble with sleep disordered breathing, our staff at Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders will work with your child’s physician to help them feel well again! With our seven US locations, we serve patients from all across the country: we have one in Kansas City, MO; one in El Paso, TX; one in Wausau, WI; one in Mishawaka, IN; one in Bloomington, IL; and one in Peoria – Dunlap, IL. Schedule an appointment at any of our locations today to receive high quality care from top-rated dedicated sleep team. We look forward to serving you!