The Facts & The Statistics
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout sleep. While a major risk factor for apnea is an increase in age, anyone can have sleep apnea, even infants. Approximately three percent of children have obstructive sleep apnea. Since sleep apnea in children is rare, it’s often undiagnosed, or worse, misdiagnosed.
It’s crucial to understand the causes and symptoms of sleep apnea in children so you can determine if your child would benefit from a sleep study. If they're diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can begin treatment right away.
Causes & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Children
The most common causes of sleep apnea in children are enlarged tongue or tonsils, obesity, certain neuromuscular diseases, and craniofacial abnormalities. Sleep apnea occurs for different reasons and the symptoms can affect the quality of life for you and your child.
Get the Right Diagnosis
When your child isn’t getting quality sleep, they can experience many of the same symptoms that are linked to ADHD such as difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, and behavioral issues. As a result, sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed as ADHD.
While the medication used to treat ADHD can mask a few of the symptoms, it won’t treat the underlying cause for your child's suffering. There are a variety of long-term health consequences associated with sleep apnea and it’s crucial to ensure your child gets a proper diagnosis so they can enjoy a fulfilling life.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed with an at-home sleep study or in a lab under the supervision of a physician. Dr. Lawrence can help you determine which study your child would benefit from the most. Once you have a clear diagnosis, we can begin treatment right away.
At SleepRight McKinney, we offer a customized oral appliance that's similar to a mouthguard and worn at night. It works by gently shifting your lower jaw forward and keeps the tongue in a neutral position, thereby helping to prevent the airway from collapsing.