Sleep apnea and kids

There’s nothing bad in starting this write-up with tremendous background knowledge: “children can have sleep apnea.” Several people have debated whether kids also battle with sleep apnea. Now, the question is, what is sleep apnea? What are the symptoms of sleep apnea in kids? Can sleep apnea be treated in kids? Finally, what are the complications of sleep apnea in kids? 

Dear reader, we are here to give a direct answer to all the above-listed questions. One thing we want you to agree with us is that the answers you’ll see here are not opinionated. They are more than facts but the truth. Therefore, we encourage you to follow us closely with an open mind as we will reveal and settle the matter about sleep apnea and kids. With that said, it would be nice to start from the nitty-gritty.

Sleep apnea and kids

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a critical issue when breathing stops and starts repeatedly. Several people are battling this sleep disorder. Some has been fighting sleep disorder for years. What am I saying in essence? People can live with sleep apnea for years. Of course, it’s dangerous and can cause severe issues to the body system.

On the other hand, if one snores loudly and also feels tired after spending the standard time resting, one may be battling sleep apnea. So, with this explanation, you should start seeing kids in the picture. Do we have kids that snore loudly? Yes/no? You should answer that question. We believe you’ll get to know that kids are not exempted from having sleep apnea. Remember, I said earlier that all you need to do is to follow us closely. 

Having known the meaning of sleep apnea, we need to talk about the types/causes of sleep apnea in kids. 

Types/causes of sleep apnea in kids

Sleep apnea can occur in children if the muscles in the back of their throat relax excessively to permit normal breathing. You should know that the muscles work together to support structures. The muscles support the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils, and the tongue. Therefore, once these muscles in the back of the throat relax, the breathing will be affected. And once the breathing is affected, sleep apnea will occur. This is called obstructive sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea and kids

Also, we have central sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to carry out its duties appropriately. The brain is like a template or a background of the body responsible for activities in the body internally. So, if the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing, then sleep apnea will occur. We hope you’re seeing how kids can be affected by sleep apnea. The explanation above is straightforward, and one should be able to deduce that kids are not exempted. This type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea. 

So, one can combine the above-listed two causes/types. This is called complex sleep apnea syndrome. It is otherwise known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. It happens when someone is battling both obstructive and central sleep apnea. 

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea in kids?

You need to know that kids also battle with SA. However, the symptoms they see are pretty different from those of adults. Although some of them might have the same symptoms as adults, we want to focus on those one’s parents or guardians would see and notice. 

Sleep apnea and kids
  1. Loud snoring: The moment you see your kids snoring so loud, you should know there’s a cause for alarm. We have a special message here for parents and guardians. Parents must pay attention and learn how to study their kids. Dear parents, don’t join the league of people who assumes that snoring during sleep is natural. You must place your eyes on your kids. So, one of the common symptoms of sleep apnea in kids is loud snoring while sleeping. 
  2. Morning headache: When your kids complain of headaches every morning, you should know something is wrong. Feeling headache in the morning is one of the most common symptoms in both young and adults. So, if your child is complaining about a headache, you should take your child to see the doctor. 
  3. Episodes in which you stop breathing while sleeping: Although another person could report this, it’s a symptom of sleep apnea. Therefore, parents and guardians should stay focused and study their kids. They can find it so hard to communicate this to their parents. Even adults need another person to study them to notice this symptom. 
  4. Gasping for air during sleep: Have you seen kids gasping for air during sleep? We have seen countless of them. During their sleep, you will see them gasping for air. It will be like the air is not enough. The moment you notice this symptom, please rise and do the needful. 
  5. Awakening with a dry mouth: One of the common symptoms of sleep apnea in kids is awakening with a dry mouth. Parents need to focus on all these symptoms. If you notice a dry mouth when your kid is just awake from sleep, then sleep apnea is gradually worsening. And it must be attended to without wasting time.

What to do if you notice these symptoms in your kids

There’s nothing more than visiting the doctor for a proper checkup. Please don’t engage in self-medication. The best, first, and the only step to do is to take your kids to see the doctor. Hence, the doctor will instruct you on the next step you need to take. 

On a final note

Dear reader, this write-up is about kids and sleep apnea. We discussed the meaning of sleep apnea in kids and explained the causes/types of sleep apnea in kids. Also, we explained in detail the symptoms of sleep apnea in kids. Finally, a question can cross your mind while reading this article. Please kindly drop your question in the comment box.         

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