What is pediatric sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that affects both children and adults. You may also hear it referred to as OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Just like adults, pediatric sleep apnea in children occurs when the soft tissues in the throat soften and collapse during sleep, blocking the airway. You may notice symptoms such as:
- Snoring, coughing, or choking
- Restless sleep
- Mouth breathing
- Pauses in breathing
- Sleep terrors
- Bed wetting
Not all children with sleep apnea snore, but their disturbed sleep can result in:
- Poor performance in school
- Learning problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Behavioral problems
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your pediatrician. Treatment for pediatric sleep apnea in Austin, TX may include:
- Removal of tonsils and adenoids
- Certain allergy medications
- Positive airway pressure (CPAP)
- Customized oral device
If your pediatrician agrees it’s appropriate, Dr. Jared Poplin can create a customized oral appliance for your son or daughter. It is designed to move their lower jaw slightly forward during sleep to prevent soft tissue from collapsing and obstructing their airway.
It’s imperative to talk to your pediatrician about these symptoms as soon as possible. If your child is always irritable or has trouble learning, pediatric sleep apnea may be the cause. Untreated sleep apnea in children can also result in a failure to thrive, facial and jaw abnormalities, and heart problems.
If you have questions about pediatric sleep apnea treatment, please call our Austin, TX dental office. Dr. Poplin will be happy to work with your pediatrician to ensure that your child receives the appropriate treatment.