Snoring and sleep apnea

Snoring and sleep apnea

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.

Children can have sleep apnea too, did you know that?

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.

What are the risk factors?

- children who were born prematurely
- asthma
- allergic rhinitis
- recurrent ENT infections
- significant gastro-oesophageal reflux
- children with at least one parent who has sleep apnea

What are the age groups concerned?

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.

How do I know if my child has apnea?

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

What are the effects of sleep apnea in children? Are they the same as in adults?

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)

What is the treatment:

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

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