What Is Pediatric Sleep Apnea?

Is your child having sleep problems such as sleep apnea, snoring, or insomnia? Are you looking for a sleep apnea doctor near you? Look no further than Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders where our doctors can provide treatments for sleep apnea. We invite you to call us for more information or schedule an appointment online.

What Is Pediatric Sleep Apnea?

If a child has sleep apnea and it’s left untreated, it can actually lead to certain behavioral problems and other health issues, so it’s important to have your child treated if he or she is experiencing poor sleep and other symptoms of sleep apnea. We can help here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. The first step is for us to help you better understand sleep apnea, so here’s what you should know about pediatric sleep apnea and how we can treat it.

So what is pediatric sleep apnea?

Pediatric sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a child’s breathing is partially or entirely blocked repeatedly during sleep. It’s rare for a child to have sleep apnea, but when it happens, it can be quite serious. This is because untreated pediatric sleep apnea can result in hypertension, cardiac problems, and behavioral, adaptive, and learning difficulties, as well as other symptoms similar to those of ADHD. Actually, it could be that around 25 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have the symptoms of sleep apnea instead.

Recently, a study indicated that the occurrence of behavioral problems in children were 4 to 5 times greater in children with incident sleep apnea and even greater in children with persistent sleep apnea.

With all of this considered, it’s easy to understand the significance of poor sleep and sleep apnea in children, and it’s easy to make the decision to have your child treated by a pediatric sleep doctor.

How can I tell whether my child has pediatric sleep apnea?

It can be somewhat difficult to identify the symptoms of sleep apnea in children, and it can be easy to confuse the symptoms with other health issues. This is one of the many reasons why you should have a pediatric sleep doctor assess your child.

Some of the common symptoms of sleep apnea that we find in children tend to be snoring, mouth breathing, behavioral issues, tiredness and fatigue during the daytime, trouble concentrating, low attention span, poor performance in school, breathing difficulty during the day, bedwetting, and pauses in breathing during sleep. Additionally, childhood obesity, enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, or a jaw joint disorder (TMJ disorder) can cause or contribute to pediatric sleep apnea. If your child is experiencing one or more of the aforementioned issues, then you should bring him or her in to see us here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders.

How is pediatric sleep apnea in children treated?

This depends on the particular cause of a child’s sleep apnea. Sometimes a relatively simple surgery is necessary, while other times lifestyle programs can help. Often, though, the issue behind pediatric sleep apnea is fixed with oral appliance therapy.

This kind of therapy can be an excellent alternative to CPAP therapy with a CPAP machine. Instead of a machine, oral appliance therapy uses a simple mouthpiece that is much more comfortable to use, especially for young patients. The appliance works by relaxing the child’s jaw, tongue, and airway so they can rest in their natural position, and often this is exactly what a child needs. We provide this treatment here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders.

Our clinic has many locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. We invite you to contact us and book a consultation with us here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. We’ll help you understand your child’s symptoms and sleep much better, and if we determine that your child has sleep apnea, we’ll be able to provide a lasting solution and help your child sleep much more soundly. Please visit our Appointments page to make your consultation with us at one of our locations, or you can call us.