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Sleep Apnea in Children
Looking for information on the topic of sleep apnea? This dental-related condition can affect both children and adults, and because it can be quite serious, getting treatment as soon as possible is necessary. According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Oral appliance benefits
Understanding the benefits that come with each sleep apnea solution is a great idea. These benefits are especially important for children who have been diagnosed with this common sleeping condition, as it is often more difficult to treat children vs. adults. These benefits include but are not limited to: being comfortable to wear and being easy to wear, use and care for.
How sleep apnea can affect children
Children who suffer from sleep apnea are not getting the sleep they need during the night, which will affect them during the day. Common ways that this sleeping disorder can negatively affect children include feeling tired throughout the day, performing poorly in school, potential bedwetting problems and even learning and behavior disorders. This makes it essential for parents to pay close attention to their child, as their behavior could be due to them not getting enough sleep during the night.
Causes and risk factors
The most common cause of sleep apnea in children is due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids. While the most common cause of sleep apnea in adults is due to obesity, it is less common for children who are obese to be diagnosed with this common sleeping disorder. Risk factors that can increase a child’s chances of being diagnosed with sleep apnea include finding out that they have cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, sickle cell disease, neuromuscular disease, face abnormalities and a family history of sleep apnea.
There are a few different treatment options available for children who have been diagnosed with this sleeping disorder. These include using oral appliances in order to open up the child’s upper airway, using a CPAP machine to keep their airway open, removing their tonsils and adenoids and prescribing certain medications that are proven to help children diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea.
In need of a diagnosis?
Parents who believe their child might have sleep apnea need to make an appointment with their primary care professional in order to get a proper diagnosis. If a child is diagnosed with sleep apnea, then the primary care professional will work with dental professionals in order to find the optimal solution.
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