Pediatric Sleep Apnea

Have you noticed some irregularities in the way your child sleeps, such as snoring, breathing pauses, or gasping for air while sleeping? Does your child have trouble staying focused? Does he or she seem consistently tired during the day? If you have answered yes to these questions, your child may be suffering from Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The American Academy of Pediatrics has estimated that 1 to 4% of children have sleep breathing disorders and 3-12% are consistent snorers. Children who have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may be experiencing pauses while breathing of extended length, which can be extremely dangerous to their health. If left untreated, OSA can lead to a number of serious long-term effects, including ADHD, aggressive behavior, poor performance in school, compromised growth, depression, and a number of other concerns.

The good news is Dr. Michael Fulbright at Fulbright Snoring & Sleep Solutions offers a comprehensive program designed to treat pediatric sleep apnea. Our practice can examine your child in a complimentary sleep apnea consultation to determine whether this condition may be present. If so, Dr. Fulbright offers a number of advanced treatment options designed to ensure your child’s breathing passages are functioning normally and help them attain a healthy, restful night’s sleep.

What are the signs and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in children?

Similar to adults suffering from OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea in children is generally characterized by oral and nasal airway obstructions that occur during sleep. Since many of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea may not be immediately associated with a sleep disorder, the condition often goes undiagnosed. This makes it vital to seek an evaluation as soon as warning signs are apparent. Symptoms and signs of OSA may include:

Children who have underdeveloped upper and lower jaws seem to be particularly prone to sleep apnea. Structural problems caused by lack of development in these areas can lead to the jaws pushing back in the oral cavity and narrowing or closing the airway. Obesity is also a risk factor for sleep apnea in children, just as it is in adults. Genetics may also be a risk factor for Pediatric Sleep Apnea, and being around tobacco smoke may increase a child’s risk for developing the condition as well.

What are the treatment options for Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

During the initial consultation with Dr. Fulbright, your child will be thoroughly evaluated and he will answer all of your questions. Dr. Fulbright may also recommend a polysomnogram, which involves a painless series of tests that can be performed during sleep. Advanced treatment options for sleep apnea include: