Children's Sleep Apnea Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is defined as snoring and respiratory arrest in sleep. Sleep, which constitutes an average of one third of human life, is of great importance for a healthy life. Poor sleep causes daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration and complaints during daytime sleep; high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, paralysis or sudden night deaths can cause sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea in Children,Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea,Children's Sleep Apnea,Symptoms and Causes,
Sleep apnea is one of the most common common diseases associated with closure of the upper airway during deep sleep and may be referred to as stopping of sleep. Sleep apnea, which means that breathing stops and becomes superficial during sleep, can be repeated over and over again during the night. During sleep apnea, relaxation of the muscles that allow the upper airway to remain open. The tongue root or soft palate or overgrown tonsils are called sleep apnea that cannot breathe for at least 10 seconds as a result of obstruction of the airway.

Although breathing effort continues during sleep apnea, after a while, this increasing effort stimulates the brain and the airway is opened. The person who snores until he stops breathing, continues to breathe and snore again with a loud grunt.

Causes of sleep apnea

The reason for sleep apnea is that the muscles in the throat are loosened to cover the area where the air will pass. Stenosis in the upper respiratory tract can lead to wear of the respiratory tract from childhood, which may lead to sleep apnea syndrome. Being overweight, having large tonsils and adenoid tissue can be shown among the causes of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be seen not only in adults but also in children.

Snoring in people with sleep apnea syndrome, 3-4 times more, very rough and noisy occurs. In addition to snoring, shortness of breath, frequent sucking, waking up with hand gestures, frequent and long-term breathing stops, and wake up in the morning are seen in people with sleep apnea syndrome.

Video - Sleep apnea in 5 yeears old girl secondary to adenotonsillar hypertrophy

In the video above, most of a 5-year-old girl with a sleep apnea syndrome due to adenotonsillar hypertrophy is seen. Children who do not normally have adenotonsillar hypertrophy have a widening of the airway and a decrease in sleep apnea when they lie down. In the video above, a girl with extremely large adenoid tissue and tonsils can hear a snoring sound and her breathing is almost stopped even when she is lying on her side (please watch out loud - pediatric sleep apnea).

Sleep apnea in adults and children

In adults, it can invite invasion of sleep apnea from heart rhythm disorder to reflux, hypertension to sexual dysfunction. In children, sleep apnea; growth retardation leads to many problems, from upper respiratory tract infections to hyperactivity to school failure. The total sleep time in pre-school children is 11-12 hours and in 6-12 years this period is 9-11 hours. The treatment of obstructive sleep apnea before school is very important. Because the quality of life in untreated children may affect school success negatively.

Sleep apnea in children, findings, recurrent apnea attacks during night sleep, frequent waking, sweating, snoring, frequent changes in body position, sighing, undermine and tired awakening. Unlike adults with sleep apnea, children generally have less tendency to sleep during the day. Abdominal and nasal growth is the leading cause of pediatric sleep apnea. In addition to these, diseases such as Down syndrome, neuromuscular diseases, obesity, laryngomalacia also facilitate the emergence of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can causes difficulty in concentration in children and leads to learning difficulties

Sleep apnea causes difficulty in concentration in children and leads to learning difficulties and school failure. If your child is snoring at night, sweating excessively during the night, sweats in bed, turns around in bed, and once in a while, you should suspect sleep apnea.

Good quality and deep sleep is very important for the secretion of growth hormone in children!

Sleep apnea is more common in children with facial development, especially those who are fat, allergic and have a large tongue, but the main cause is always large tonsils and nasal passages. Common nasal polyps may also occasionally cause apnea. The sleep pattern deteriorates and the child is unable to sleep long enough to reduce the concentration of course over time. Perceptual disorder brings memorization and learning difficulties. Reduction in attention and memory usage are observed. During the day, the child behaves aggressively and hyperactive. The sleep pattern deteriorates and the child is unable to sleep long enough to reduce the concentration of course over time. Perceptual disorder brings memorization and learning difficulties. Reduction in attention and memory usage are observed. During the day, the child behaves aggressively and hyperactive. In children with sleep apnea, oxygen levels may decrease and structural defects may occur in the face, jaw and mouth. At night, the growth hormone is less secreted, hence the development is impaired, and weight gain and height elongation stop.

Symptoms of sleep apnea in children

The symptoms of sleep apnea differ significantly in children compared to adults. Sleep apnea leads to symptoms such as hyperactivity in children - lack of attention, course failure, restlessness, nighttime wetting, behavior and learning disorders, night restless sleep, night sweats.

Sleep disorders, such as snoring and pale cessation, lead to an increased mobility problem in children and have a negative impact on school success. It may cause personality problems (combative, hyperactive, hyperactive), school failures and physical and mental development problems in children. Sleep apnea was detected in 25 percent of children diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity. The result can lead to many problems ranging from problems such as behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, thoughtfulness, moodiness, extreme mischief to nightwashing.

Spontaneous leaps, awakening and impaired sleep patterns occur. The child sweats, sometimes suffocates, wakes up together with whips. In the daytime, school performance decreases, daytime sleepiness and concentration disorder occur. When growth hormone is secreted in sleep, the secretion of this hormone decreases and growth retardation can be seen in sleep disorders.

If all these symptoms are seen, a complete otolaryngological examination is performed with the endoscopic system. If necessary, radiographs are taken and the patient is sent to the sleep laboratory.

There is no relationship between how and what the children snore and the presence or absence of sleep apnea. Early diagnosis and treatment can solve the problem.

Will sleep apnea damage my child?

Sleep apnea causes a lot of damage to children. The lack of attention to behavior-learning disorders and hyperactivity leads to course failures in these children significantly. Academic achievement in children with sleep apnea is lower than in normal children. Wetting the night under the so-called enuresis is an important social problem. Along with all these, children with sleep apnea show growth and development retardation; lack of healthy sleep is the most important cause of developmental retardation. Finally, children with apnea are at risk for heart failure, hypertension and vascular diseases.

As understood from all this information, the treatment of sleep apnea in children is as important as adults.

Treatment of sleep apnea in children

If the child's complaints have occurred after an upper respiratory tract infection, medication is administered. If this condition does not improve with the treatment, the size of the tonsils and adenoid tissue are evaluated in terms of surgery. Sleep apnea caused by aphitic and tonsil problem is dramatically improved after surgery. Appetite increases, growth and development are in order, and the school is able to increase success as the child sleeps enough. For the treatment of sleep apnea syndrome in children, tonsil and adenoid surgeries are usually sufficient. In addition to these, oral oxygen treatments such as CPAP and BIPAP are also applied in patients with the above diseases and conditions.

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Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

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