Sleep Apnea in Children

When children have sleep apnea, it can be very serious and detrimental to their mental and physical well-being. If your child seems sluggish no matter how long they sleep or seems to have unexplainable weight gain, it can be signs of sleep apnea. If you think your child has sleep apnea here are a few things to know.

1. Symptoms:

Children normally go to bed a lot earlier than adults so it isn’t difficult to monitor their sleep for at least a few hours. Listen for snoring, snorting or gasping that seems similar to an adult’s or snoring that sounds like there’s a blockage in the airway. Also listen to their breathing and see if it’s even. If it’s uneven or sounds stopped in any way, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to schedule further evaluation. You may also notice that your child seems restless and sweaty. This is different than an active sleeper and you should only be concerned if your child seems uncomfortable or if they can’t get comfortable even as they’re asleep.

2. Treatment Options:

Severe sleep apnea may need surgery to fix. However, if it’s a milder form, your dentist can use a mandibular advancement device as an alternative to a CPAP machine. This device is a structure that is attached to your mandible/lower jaw and prevents the tissue from collapsing and blocking your airway. Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care is specially trained to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to behavioral issues in your child. It can make them irritable and/or uninterested in normal activities. Sleep apnea can also raise the risk of diabetes and many other physical health issues. A lack of sleep from an early age is very dangerous and can inhibit normal development in all areas. It also makes your child extremely tired and sleepy for most of the day. Make sure you get treatment for your child’s sleep apnea right away. If you have any questions, call our New Fairfield, CT office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment online. Dr. Burio has been treating patients for over twenty-five years and can help get your child feeling their best as soon as possible.