Knowing the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can change your life! This condition is very hard to diagnose.
The usual symptoms take place when you’re fast asleep, and those that you do notice are often mistaken for other problems.
When you are aware of the condition of sleep apnea, the symptoms that come with it, and what to do, alleviating all of the problems that are being experienced is so much easier.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for brief periods during their sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the airways are blocked.
There are millions of people affected by the condition, and sadly, many of them are unaware that they even have it, thus suffering in silence or with the wrong treatments.
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition. Although it is unlikely that your child will die in their sleep, there are a number of definite consequences which are not desires to be experienced.
These things are known as symptoms. There are several sleep apnea symptoms. It is important to have a clear understanding of this condition as well as all of the symptoms that indicate its presence.
A Look at the Symptoms
There are only a few symptoms of sleep apnea, and chances are it won’t be until a spouse or another individual who sees you sleep points out your irregular breathing that you will even realize that there is a problem. The symptoms of sleep apnea affect each person differently, and on a different severity level.
It is important to listen to your child when they tell you that they have wet the bed or to the teacher who tells you that your child is not paying attention or falling asleep in the classroom.
It is when you work with others who have close interaction with your child that the best results in treatment can be found.
Children with obstructive sleep apnea oftentimes face the issue of bedwetting. It is very embarrassing for the child to experience.
Many times the condition is responsible for the bedwetting, other times it is related to the child being unable to sleep well, and simply being too tired to wake themselves to go to the bathroom.
Just as adults snore, so do children, so it is important to remember that this symptom alone is not an indication of any problem. However, when it is coupled with other obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, it is very much an indication of a problem.
Oftentimes children with sleep apnea have a number of behavioral problems. Many times they are taken to the doctor, only to be diagnosed with ADHD or another emotional problem.
Children who do poorly in school, have trouble concentrating or otherwise act out might not actually have one of the behavior problems, rather a case of sleep apnea.
Problems with Growth
Children with sleep apnea often do not gain weight as they should. As a result they are often underweight compared to other children their age.
There are a host of other problems that a child with sleep apnea might experience. Those problems include issues with their health.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
There are a number of causes of sleep apnea. Those causes include:
Swollen Tonsils: One of the most common causes of sleep apnea is swollen tonsils and adenoids. It is not always a fact that children who have these problems will also have sleep apnea, but the two conditions certainly go hand in hand.
It is for this reason that most doctors recommend the removal on the tonsils and adenoids if sleep apnea is a problem bothering a child.
Craniofacial Abnormalities: Craniofacial abnormalities can also be responsible for sleep apnea. There are several such abnormalities that can cause the tonsils to enlarge, thus resulting in problems.
Obesity: Children who are obese are twice as likely to develop sleep apnea that children who are in a normal weight range.
If obstructive sleep apnea is not treated while the child is still an adolescent, it can continue well into adulthood where an array of additional symptoms and problems may protrude.
Adults with sleep apnea are at an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and may have difficulties in their day-to-day life and activities that they normally participate in.
Is it Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea may very well be the culprit of your child’s problems, and it is up to you to talk to the doctor if you suspect that it is the cause. There are several tests that the doctor can perform to make a proper diagnosis.
If it is determined that obstructive sleep apnea is the cause of the child’s problems, the doctor will evaluate the severity of the condition and make a recommendation for treatment.
The sooner that you talk to the doctor, the better the treatment will help. The longer that the condition persists, the harder that it is to treat.
Most of the time it is the removal of the tonsils and adenoids that works to eliminate the condition, along with a number of lifestyle changes.
The healthier that your child, the less risk that they have concerning sleep apnea. This is not the only source of treatment, however.
Again, your child’s pediatrician is the best person to talk to concerning the available treatment options for sleep apnea.
Be Aware of the Symptoms
Although this is not a complete list of the symptoms or causes of sleep apnea, it does list most of the common symptoms and causes.
As a parent it is important that you pay close attention to your child, especially if you have been to the doctor and are not getting the results that you had hoped for.
It could very well be sleep apnea that is causing the problems that your child is experiencing, Obstructive sleep apnea is a treatable condition, but it can be treated only when the proper diagnosis has been made. do not allow your child to suffer.