It is common to encounter adults who are snoring in their sleep. Most of us ignore snoring and never even bother getting snoring treatment in Singapore. Snoring could be a symptom of a more serious problem. Sleep apnea is one of the causes of snoring.
Unfortunately, this sleep disorder does not affect adults alone. In fact, children can develop obstructive sleep apnea, too, and parents need to distinguish between harmless snoring and sleep apnea in their kids.
Visiting an ear nose throat clinic in Singapore may help diagnose sleep apnea in children and adults. Continue reading this article to learn more about this sleep disorder and how it can affect your child.
An Introduction To Sleep Apnea
Before the article discusses sleep apnea in children, this part will divulge the basic overview of sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes abnormal breathing and a decrease in airflow while asleep. Sleep apnea can affect everyone; children, adults, males, and females. Snoring is one of several symptoms of sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea visit anENT specialist in Singapore for accurate diagnosis and appropriate snoring treatment in Singapore.
The Three Main Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the muscles in the throat, tongue and soft palate area temporarily relax, obstructing the upper airways.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the respiratory muscles responsible for controlling breathing. People who usually have central sleep apnea suffer from medical conditions concerning the nervous system. Drug overdose is also linked to the development of central sleep apnea.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
Mixed sleep apnea is the combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. It usually starts from central sleep apnea, then develops into obstructive sleep apnea.
Visiting anear nose throat clinic in Singaporeis essential in determining which type of sleep apnea a person has and what appropriate snoring treatment in Singaporeyou should get.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Although there are three types of sleep apnea, their symptoms are almost the same. Here are the common symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Disrupted or pause in breathing when asleep
- Laboured breathing when asleep
- Frequent need to urinate at night
- Loud and frequent snoring
- Choking and gasping while asleep
- Restless sleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Sore throat and dry mouth in the morning
- Loss of focus
- Decrease in libido
- Failure to maintain an erection
Who is at risk of developing sleep apnea?
Generally, everyone can have sleep apnea. Although it is common in adult men, women can also suffer from sleep apnea. Babies and children can have sleep apnea as well.
However, these groups of people are at a higher risk of having one.
Overweight and Obesity
People who are overweight and obese have a higher chance of developing OSA. The excess fat in the body narrows down the upper airways.
People with a BMI within 25.0 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while BMI falling within 30.0 is considered obese.
People with a larger neck
A larger neck means more soft tissue that can serve as an obstruction in the airways. The size of the jaw, tongue, and tonsils can also block the air passage.
Sedative drugs and alcohol relax and collapse the soft tissues around the throat and airways, creating a blockage.
People with nasal conditions, such as polyps, can obstruct the airways. People with nasal polyps visit a sinus specialist in Singapore to treat the problem.
Smoking inflames, damages, and increases fluid retention in the respiratory system, which could impact the structure of the upper airways.
Upper airway structural problems are inherited. These inherited traits increase the risk of developing sleep apnea.
If you notice sleep apnea symptoms and belong to these groups of people, visit an ear nose throat clinic in Singapore for a checkup and diagnosis.
The question is: how different is sleep apnea in children, and how can parents determine if their kid has sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep apnea in adults and pediatric sleep apnea is almost the same. Sleep apnea in children is a sleep disorder that causes disruptive breathing patterns and limiting airflow while the child is asleep.
A child can have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. That is why it is important to consult an ENT specialist in Singapore to determine the type of sleep apnea and provide the proper treatment.
Symptoms of Pediatric Sleep Apnea
Most sleep apnea symptoms in adults are similar to children; however, there are unique signs of pediatric sleep apnea.
- Loud snoring, gasping and choking while asleep
- Behavioural problems
- Night terrors
- Nighttime sweating
- Poor academic and learning performance
- Loss of focus
- Poor weight gain
If your child has these symptoms, consult an ENT specialist and seek snoring treatment in Singapore.
Who is at risk of developing pediatric sleep apnea?
Children who are overweight and obese
The excess fat in the upper body area narrows down the upper airways.
Tumour and Polyp Growths
Tumour growth in the airways and nasal polyps also cause breathing obstruction. Visit asinus specialist in Singapore for the proper treatment of nasal polyps.
Children with Down syndrome and Pierre-Robin syndrome have a higher risk of developing pediatric sleep apnea.
Children with cerebral palsy, sickle cell disease and neuromuscular disease have a higher risk of developing pediatric sleep apnea.
Pediatric Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are several ways to treat sleep apnea in children.
Weight loss can treat sleep apnea caused by excess weight and obesity.
Nasal steroids help relieve mild sleep apnea in children caused by enlarged tonsils.
Machines like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP), and Rapid Maxillary Expansion help improve breathing and steady the airflow while the child is asleep.
Removing the enlarged tonsils and adenoids can treat pediatric sleep apnea.
Stop sleeping on the early signs of sleep apnea in your children. Early treatment of the sleep disorder prevents severe complications of pediatric sleep apnea in children.
Dr Dennis Chua – ENT Surgeons
Dr Dennis Chua – ENT Surgeons provides diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea in children and adults.