According to the National Sleep Foundation, habitual snoring affects approximately 11% to 12% of kids aged between one and nine worldwide. But is it just habitual snoring or is it something more serious like sleep apnea?
Below are 10 indications that could help you decide if your kid’s snoring is serious or not:
- Nighttime Sweats: This is generally due to the sympathetic nervous system being overactive while sleeping and triggered by lack of oxygen as well as overexertion while breathing against the closed airway.
- Unusual Sleep Positions: Hyperactive neck extension is common among kids suffering from sleep apnea since this position tends to keep their airway more open, says Southpoint Quality Dental, a top dentist in Fredericksburg who also conducts snoring therapy.
- Inward Breastbone and Ribcage Movement When Breathing In: This is also caused by overexertion while breathing due to a closed airway.
- Morning Headaches: These occur because of increased blood pressure and low oxygen levels while sleeping.
- Inattentiveness and/or Hyperactivity in School: Some kids suffering from sleep apnea are misdiagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Thorough testing could help avoid a misdiagnosis.
- Frequent Bedwetting: Some studies have indicated that most kids with sleep apnea are bed wetters.
- Frequent Night Terrors and Sleepwalking: A Stanford study has shown that most kids who sleepwalk also suffer from sleep apnea and after successful treatment of sleep apnea stopped sleepwalking.
- Obesity: Several studies have indicated that up to 30% of obese kids suffer from sleep apnea. Left untreated, the kids have an even more increased risk of developing insulin resistance, hypertension, and related metabolic disorders.
- Down Syndrome: Among 40% to 70% of kids with Down syndrome also suffer from sleep apnea. If left unaddressed, it could significantly impact their mental development and overall health.
- Pediatric Hypertension: Kids afflicted with hypertension must regularly be screened for indications of sleep apnea.
Although sleep apnea could be dangerous to the health of a child, it could likewise be easily treated. There are plenty of treatment options for sleep apnea, and only a professional could help you decide which treatment is right for your child. If your child has several of these symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible.