Sleep apnea or SAS (Sleep Apnea Syndrome) is characterized by involuntary interruptions in breathing for a few seconds during sleep, leading primarily to low oxygen in the blood.
Does your child snore regularly? Is he/she constantly tired, even on vacation or after a good night’s sleep? Maybe he suffers from sleep apnea.
- children who were born prematurely
- allergic rhinitis
- recurrent ENT infections
- significant gastro-oesophageal reflux
- children with at least one parent who has sleep apnea
All age groups, from a few months of life to 18 years, are concerned. But most often between 2 and 8 years old, than in adolescence, between 12 and 16 years old.
The 3 signs of sleep apnea that should not be overlooked in children
• A child who snores all the time
• A constantly exhausted child
• A child who has difficulty concentrating and behaving
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome leads to impaired sleep quality, with the most common consequences:
- a hypertonic state during the day (unlike the state of drowsiness found in adults)
- behavioral disorders ("difficult" child, angry, who changes mood or cries easily)
- difficulty in paying attention and remembering at school
- Poor weight gain in the youngest
- We find, more rarely, cardiovascular complications (arterial hypertension)
In children, care must be multidisciplinary, and may involve, depending on the specific needs of each child:
1. Washing the nose before sleeping
2. Weight monitoring (regular physical activities, balanced diet)
3. Surgery to remove the enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids
4. Orthodontist care: breathing through the mouth can cause a growth disorder of the child's jaw
5. Treating associated respiratory problems: allergic rhinitis, asthma
6. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
7. Staying away from secondhand smoke, indoor pollutants, and allergens
Chief Arthur Mbanefo, 91 years old, former ambassador to the UN and Representative of Nigeria, thanks the American Hospital Dubai for the excellent medical treatment and personalized care he received.