Sleep apnea In children: The causes, symptoms, and treatments
Updated: May 10, 2020
A well-known fact that most of the time sleep apnea affects adults, but children under the ages three to six can be also at risk. Sleep apnea is in the same way troubling in children as in adults. If it is neglected, it leaves children with poor school performance, learning problems, developmental delays, and worse, with high blood pressure and heart diseases.
The sleep apnea in children most of the time results from enlarged tonsils and adenoids. This enlargement, in many cases, comes from the infection. Some children with facial and structural deformities have squeezed and narrowed airways. For instance, children with larger tongues, smaller jaws, or narrowed throat can suffer the symptoms of sleep apnea. Tumors affecting airway can also contribute to sleep apnea as they decrease the muscle tone and cause the obstruction.
The main symptom is loud and heavy snoring, just like in adults. Among other symptoms are bedwetting, mouth breathing, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, excessive sleepiness, and many more. Many children may also have behavior problems and learning problems.
When the enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the main cause of the disorder, then tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are common ways out. If it is not the case, then CPAP can be prescribed.
Sleep apnea in children requires special attention. Parents need to immediately see a doctor if they suspect their kids to suffer from this condition.