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My Child Snores, is it Sleep Apnea?

Filed in
  • Snoring
  • children
  • Sleep apnea

American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  Sep 11, 2010
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Snoring is especially prevalent in adults and a surprising number of their children also “saw logs.” Sleepeducation.com reports between 10 and 20 percent of American children snore. Children in China have similar snoring rates, a study included in the September issue of the journal Chest reports.

A survey of more than 6,000 school-aged kids found approximately 1 in 10 Chinese children snore habitually. Results show kids who snore have a parent who snores. Male gender and obesity also promote snoring. Kids with allergies or a history of upper respiratory infections tend to snore loudly.

A history of loud snoring can be a red flag for childhood OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a problem for about 2 percent of healthy young children. One way to tell if your child has OSA is to if the child also appears to be working hard to breathe while asleep.

One of the main indicators of sleep apnea in teenagers or adults – daytime fatigue – is not always present for kids. Unlike older patients, children with OSA often do not wake up during breathing pauses leading to more normal sleeping patterns.

The primary treatment for children who snore or have OSA is different compared to adults. Children often have their tonsils and adenoids removed to increase the size of the airway. Most often children are able to breathe normally after this procedure.

When an adenotonsillectomy doesn’t solve sleep apnea many children choose child-sized CPAP masks to keep the airway open. Oral appliances and weight loss are two other options for children with sleep apnea.

If your child snores, find out if its sleep apnea by scheduling an appointment for an overnight sleep study at an AASM accredited sleep center.

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