Just like adults, many children suffer from sleep disorders that prevent them from getting enough sleep. Sleep disorders, such as problems falling asleep and sleep apnea, affect your child's ability to get the sleep needed for good growth, development and overall health.
Breathing difficulties during sleep can range from frequent loud snoring to obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects 1 to 10 percent of children. Sleep apnea involves a narrowing of the upper airway during sleep, causing patients to experience short periods of disrupted breathing that can interfere with sleep. Children with this condition may experience snoring, mouth breathing, restless sleep and bed-wetting. Sometimes, problems with sleeping contribute to learning, mood and behavior troubles during the daytime.
Snoring or sleep apnea may develop because of enlarged adenoids or tonsils. Treatment for these conditions may include surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids if the symptoms are significant and the tonsils and adenoids are enlarged, Removal of the tonsils and adenoids is done through a safe, minimally invasive procedure. Not every child with snoring or apnea should undergo surgery. Other treatments may include continuous positive airway pressure ventilation (CPAP). Overweight children are at increased risk for sleep disordered breathing because fat deposits around the neck and throat can also narrow the airway. Weight loss and treatment of other underlying conditions can also help improve the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Valley ENT can help evaluate and offer appropriate treatment for sleep disorders in children of all ages. We understand that when sleep problems occur in toddlers, children or young adults, they can have a big impact on the entire family and we provide specialized, family-centered care for these conditions.
Children are not simply "little adults". They're physically different. Different enough to come down with diseases adults just don't get. Illnesses, symptoms, appropriate medications, and treatments are all influenced by the age and size of your child. Treating children requires specific medical knowledge and equipment.
The information on this site is intended to help provide a general understanding only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment recommendations made individually for your child. Please consult our providers at Valley ENT, or your primary care provider, with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child's condition.