When people think of sleep apnea, they usually do not think of how this condition relates to children. What is troubling to realize is about one to four percent of children under the age of 10 in Alabama deals with sleep apnea. Children who have sleep apnea usually experience restless nights and wake up often in the middle of the night.
For those of you who are not familiar with sleep apnea, the airways used for breathing are blocked. This blockage makes breathing much more difficult, which causes several problems during sleep, such as snoring, restless nights, tossing and turning, or breathing through the mouth while asleep.
The causes of sleep apnea usually occur from enlarged adenoids or tonsils .The tonsils are located near the side of the throat while the adenoids are near the top of the throat. In order to cure sleep apnea, sometimes a child can obtain an adenoidectomy, a tonsillectomy, or even both. A tonsillectomy is the removal of any tonsils in the mouth, and an adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoids. By removing these glands at Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham, Alabama, your child can go back to having a normal night of sleep and be well rested for the next day of school.
However, sometimes surgery is not enough or is not recommended for a child to be completely cured from sleep apnea. In many cases, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine can be used. A small mask is placed on your child, which creates a light pressure in the nasal passage. This air forces airway passages open and allows your child to sleep comfortably at night.
Effects of Tonsillitis Symptoms
Some short-term effects that can occur from sleep apnea in kids can include fatigue during the day, irritability, lack of focus in school, and poor health. Some links to sleep apnea can be hyperactivity, difficulty in paying attention, bedwetting, poor performance, and sleepiness. Any of these symptoms can go away by a simple tonsillectomy or an adenoidectomy.
If left untreated, the long-term effects of sleep apnea can actually be very serious. Some cases can result in high blood pressure, stroke, heart problems, diabetes, depression, worsening of ADHD, and headaches. By diagnosing sleep apnea at an early age, the quality of life could be benefited exponentially. Your child could be performing better in school, be happier, have better night sleeps, and reduce any risks of heart attacks, head problems, and several other related issues.
To learn more about tonsillitis symptoms in children in Alabama, visit WebMD.com.
Schedule an Appointment
If your child is experiencing any sort of sleep problems, contact the Pediatric ENT Associates at the Children’s Hospital of Birmingham, Alabama today! Schedule an appointment with an ENT professional to see if any further steps should be taken towards any issues to your child’s sleep cycle. Call at (205) 831-0101 to learn more.