Children who are diagnosed with sleep apnea can be hyperactive and aggressive. They can also suffer greatly in their studies. Sometimes they may sleep different than normal. They may also wet the bed. During the daytime hours, some of them will breathe through their mouth instead of breathing through their nose.
Snoring loudly, snorting, gasping for air and temporary stoppage in breathing all are signs of sleep apnea. Basically, their signs and symptoms are parallel with what adults have.
Even with this, physicians cannot always detect this sleep disorder in children or snoring in children. They figure because most are hyperactive anyway, that it’s not a big deal.
There are some things that you can do to find out if your child actually has sleep apnea:
- Check with your child’s pediatrician and let them know what’s going on.
- Consult with an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.
- Consult with a pulmonologist (lung specialist) that specializes in children.
- Psychiatrists, psychologists and other medical providers can also help with a diagnosis.
To help them breath better at night you can try the 3 min throat exercise that might work well with your children before going serious with doctors. Sometimes it’s just easy to fix the way they breathe, plus you can learn them together here.
If you have health insurance, make sure to consult with them first to see if you need referrals for certain medical providers.
If there is further testing to be done, check to see if the physicians are board certified to treat children with sleep apnea. Don’t be afraid to ask for their credentials. Besides, this is your child’s health that you’re dealing with. With them, any diagnosis can require delicate care and attentiveness.
The physician will also need to find out if they are taking medications and if the child is allergic to anything. Also, advise them of any issues with their behavior and development. In addition to that, provide them with information on their nightly sleep patterns and if they take naps.
The child may have to take a sleep study or polysomnogram (PSG) to determine the severity of their sleep apnea. There are other tests that are given to make a determination. They include:
- An electroencephalogram (EEG), which is use to measure the waves of the brain;
- An electroculogram (EOG), which is used for chin and eye measurements;
- Both of these tests are used to check on the different sleep stages;
- An electrocardiogram (EKG), which is used for rhythm and heart rate measurements;
- Tests using chest bands for breathing movement measurements;
- Tests using more monitors for levels of oxygen and levels carbon dioxide in the child’s blood.
The majority of the sleep studies for children require an overnight stay. There are not a lot of medical facilities that specialize in sleep apnea for children. Even with that, the ones that are used for adults will utilize them to test children as well.
Check the facility to find out if they work with children that may have this sleep disorder. As with adults, check various organizations and groups to find a qualified sleep specialist.
Also, as with adults, if snoring in children or sleep apnea goes untreated in children, they can also experience serious health issues down the road. Children can also get worse with their behavioral patterns and academics in school if they are not treated in a timely manner. Don’t take for granted that they may just be going through a difficult time when it could very well be sleep apnea or sleep insomnia in the future.