Are bedtimes a challenge for your child due to insomnia or the need to be wet? Are they constantly unhappy or sick without reason? It could be signs of a disorder known as sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea is a condition with various warning indicators, and some are more prevalent than others. In addition to the signs mentioned in the previous paragraph, sleep apnea could impact everything from your child’s performance in school, their social relations, and their moods and behaviours.
It’s a condition that could be overlooked for a long time, but more parents need to be aware of the symptoms and signs. Check out our comprehensive quiz to determine if sleep apnea is the reason behind your child’s behaviour, health, or sleep issues.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, also known as sleep-disordered breathing, is defined by frequent breath patterns interrupted in a deep sleep, and it is often characterized by loud snoring or long abrupt breaths and pauses. These types of irregular nocturnal breathing could lead to poor sleep patterns and other health issues for your child.
It is essential to recognize sleep apnea in the early stages, typically during childhood. This is because the earlier the patient is diagnosed and appropriately treated for sleep apnea, the lesser the chance of suffering long-term adverse unwanted side negative effects.
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How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
If you have answered “yes” to at least two of the questions above, there is a good likelihood that your child suffers from sleep apnea. In this case, it is essential to bring your child in for a further medical examination to identify and determine the kind of sleep apnea that they suffer from.
Sleep Apnea can be detected and treated based on symptoms by itself; however, doctors might need to monitor their patients overnight in some instances. Sleep apnea is often identified using what’s known as the nocturnal polysomnography. This test requires patients to spend a few or one night in a sleeping facility in which their brain and lung activity are assessed to determine irregular breathing. The heart is also checked, and the blood oxygen levels are checked to determine if the patient is getting enough breathing while they sleep.
If you find this intimidating, tests similar to this can be conducted at your home. Home sleep tests for apnea examine the lung, heart and brain activity in sleep, all from the convenience of your home. This is a fantastic method to make your child be more relaxed and gain an accurate picture of their sleep habits. The devices used to perform at-home sleep apnea diagnosis are easy to carry and are ideal, especially for patients with young children who might not be able to sleep at a proper level in a sleep facility.
In Doctorozinews Family Dentistry, we provide sleep apnea tests at home to assist parents and children in recognizing sleep apnea within the safety and comfort of home. When sleep apnea has been confirmed, I’ll develop an individual treatment plan tailored to the child’s needs.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three main kinds of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when an obstruction physically hampers the airway during sleep. It can occur in the case of obesity, where the fatty tissue gets enlarged and blocks the airway that is in the upper. It is also seen in patients suffering from a swollen tonsil and those with dental malalignment or orthodontic issues.
Central sleep apnea is a condition that can happen at any time and doesn’t result from airway obstruction. Central sleep apnea is when a patient experiences disruptions in breath patterns and other irregularities. The brain fails to send the proper signals to muscles and the lungs to ensure breathing and air intake. Many factors can be the cause. However, central sleep apnea certainly is more common than obstructive sleeping apnea.
In the end, complex sleep apnea can be described as a mixture of both obstructive and complex sleep apnea.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
The treatment method for sleep apnea is based on the kind of sleep apnea the child has. The most frequent type of sleep apnea is obstructive, and, fortunately, it is easily identified by taking your child’s sleep test at home.
If your child’s tests have come back positive for obstructive sleep apnea, this is when I’ll meet with you to develop an individualized treatment plan. I’ll work with your physician and any other specialists required to create the best treatment options if needed.
Most patients suffering from sleep apnea can be treated successfully using myofunctional therapy. Through this therapy, a tiny, custom-made appliance that can be worn on top of your tooth (mouthpiece) can be worn during the night. It assists in supporting the jaw while keeping the airways open.
In the case of children, you could utilize Myobrace and the Healthy Start appliance to address and correct sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and the underlying causes.
Visit Doctorozinews Family Dentistry
Children and seeing how sleep apnea treatments can improve their lives is among the most rewarding aspects of my work as a dental professional and caregiver.
Prevention-based therapies such as Myobrace and Healthy Start can significantly improve your child’s sleeping habits and the orthodontic root causes of sleep apnea. If you’re interested in protecting your child’s health, make an initial step to call our dental office located in Urbandale, IA.