Visualize a young kid lost in oneâ€™s feelings because of sleep apnea. A toddler and even an older child will only respond to sleep deprivation and lack of oxygen in sleep helplessly. Parents who have no idea about sleep apnea among kids must be equally baffled. Sleep apnea treatment will be long in coming if parents cannot recognize their childrenâ€™s need. Is there any way of telling if your toddler or even older child has sleep apnea?
Only about half of adults suffering from sleep apnea which afflicts more than 80 percent of the population are aware they have it. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness is extended to the sleep apneas among children. Though snoring is common, there is a tendency not to see any connection with the disorder. How can sleep apnea treatment be undertaken when the diagnosis is not being done? Hence, it is important that sleep apnea be recognized and diagnosed first before any treatment becomes possible.
Generally, sleep apnea in children starts at age two to six years old. It is good if the diagnosis and treatment can be done even before the toddler starts going to school. There are many possible treatments. In about 90 percent of cases where tonsils and adenoids are the identified causes, surgical removal takes care of the sleep apnea among children. There are other invasive procedures that can be adopted as a solution but these are last resort.
Milder solutions can be adopted with guidance of a sleep expert and a therapist. Sleep apnea treatment must depend on the toddlerâ€™s physical condition, medical history and results of diagnostic tests. When mechanical or behavioral remedies are appropriate, such are tried first before anything more drastic; itâ€™s coupled with strict monitoring. If the kid is overweight, dieting and activities may be utilized to stimulate weight loss; sleeping position may also be modified. Mechanical solutions are done with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or with a dental appliance. These are, however, not as satisfactory because kids are naturally hyperactive.
What else can a parent do to increase the chance of success of the sleep apnea treatment? Nothing can be more important than immediate committing to a solution and working closely with the doctors.