Is Sleep Apnea in Children really a Thing?

Categories: Sleep Disorders

sleep apnea in childrenSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Most people associate sleep apnea with overweight, middle-aged men. However, did you know that children also can develop this sleep-breathing disorder? Sleep apnea doctors in Scotts Valley at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry want you to be aware of the dangers of pediatric sleep apnea, and what you can do about it if you think that your child has this disorder.

First, know that sleep apnea actually can affect anyone of any age, regardless of weight or fitness level. Children and even athletes can develop this sleep-breathing disorder that has a host of health ramifications.

Ever wondered if your child has sleep apnea? Take a moment to notice how your child breathes. Observe your child while he or she is hanging out playing video games or reading a book. Notice how they breathe. Do they breathe through their mouth or nose? Mouth breathing actually is not healthy for the body. It results in shallow breaths, which may impact a child’s growth and development, as well as their oral health and even their looks! Yes, mouth breathing significantly impacts how a child’s face develops. Mouth breathing usually causes the face to grow narrow, and long, with the chin recessed too far backward.

If you notice that your child mouth breathes, read on! If, however, you observe your child breathing nasally, you still may want to check in on them while they are sleeping to see if you notice any other warning signs of sleep apnea.

Sleep quality is absolutely critical for everyone especially a developing child. Poor sleep affects children differently than adults. Children who function with a lack of sleep may experience difficulty focusing in school or have poor grades, exhibit ADHD-like behavior, or a loss of interest in activities or sports that they once loved and excelled at. When it comes down to it, your child’s actions and behaviors could be a result of sleep apnea.

When sleep apnea occurs, your child simply is not getting enough air during sleep. Just like food and water are necessary to survive and maintain a healthy body, air is part of those necessities, too. Insufficient air flow means their body is suffering.

As we mentioned, even if your child breathes nasally during the day, he or she still could have sleep apnea. To determine if this is a possibility, observe their sleeping habits from time to time to see if they snore. Snoring usually is a telltale sign of an obstructed airway that is often associated with sleep apnea. Also, bedwetting beyond an appropriate age has been linked to sleep apnea.

What to do if you think that your child has sleep apnea

If you think that your child has sleep apnea, seek an evaluation by an experienced sleep apnea doctor in Scotts Valley such as one on staff at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. Solutions to sleep apnea don’t have to involve your child wearing a CPAP! Instead, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry offers noninvasive solutions that are much more comfortable and easier for your child to comply with while managing their sleep apnea. An airway evaluation also should be part of this evaluation with a sleep apnea doctor. To schedule one today, please call (831) 438-4411.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry welcomes patients of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.