What Are The Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
The first symptom most parents notice is snoring. Snoring is the sound made by the airway vibrating as it reopens after a partial collapse. Parents may also notice their child is sleeping in an unusual body position that may help them to breathe more easily. Recurrent breathing problems may also cause frequent, brief arousals throughout the night and this can make the child sleepy during the day.
Younger children who suffer from sleep deprivation may actually be hyperactive or aggressive, whereas older children may feel tired. A child with sleep apnoea may have difficulty concentrating or behave differently. They may awake from sleep feeling tired and unhappy, with a headache, or may refuse breakfast. Poor growth and weight gain, poor school performance, a lack of concentration and aggressive behaviour may also be seen.
What You Can Do
Apnea may come on quickly and without warning, especially during times of stress or infection. The monitor placed on your baby is especially made to alert you to any possible periods of apnea or bradycardia. The best thing you can do as a parent is to be prepared. The doctors and nurses will teach you how to take care of your baby’s special needs. You can:
Read carefully all information given to you.
Ask any questions you may have.
Take an active part in your child’s care.
Tell us what you are thinking and feeling.
Let us help you care for your baby.
We know this is a difficult time for you and your family. Remember, this is a temporary condition. Together, we can help your baby grow and develop as a normal, healthy child.
How Is It Different From Sids
Most people and parents think that gasping for air immediately signals SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. However, it really depends on the case. If your baby still breathes after gasping for air then that means that he or she is still breathing and still gets some oxygen that is needed. SIDS can happen if your babys body doesnt have a mechanism to alert them that theyre running out of oxygen, whereas a baby thats gasping for air can still have a chance to breathe and resupply oxygen to their body.
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The Importance Of Testing
Adequate testing is important because sleep apnea is sometimes overlooked in children. This can happen when a child doesnt display typical symptoms of the disorder.
For example, instead of snoring and taking frequent daytime naps, a child with sleep apnea may become hyperactive, irritable, and develop mood swings, resulting in the diagnosis of a behavioral problem.
If your child meets the criteria for sleep apnea and exhibits hyperactivity or symptoms of behavioral problems, see their doctor.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea In Children
Experts at Hassenfeld Childrens Hospital at NYU Langone employ a variety of resources to diagnose sleep apnea in infants and children. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition in which breathing pauses from time to time during sleep as a result of a partial or complete blockage in the airway. These pauses can last for a few seconds or longer, interrupting normal breathing and sleep patterns.
Sleep apnea can occur at any point during childhood, from infancy through adolescence. It is most common in young children who have tonsillitis or adenoiditisenlargement of infection-fighting tissues in the back of the nasal cavity and throatcaused by infections or allergies.
When swollen, tonsils and adenoid tissue can block a childs small airways. Being overweight also increases the risk of sleep apnea in children, because extra tissue in the airway can block air flow.
Children with unusual facial anatomy, such as small nostrils, a cleft lip or palate, a small jaw, or choanal atresiain which the cartilage that separates the nasal passages doesnt form properly during the babys developmentmay have difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils. In most instances, choanal atresia causes a blockage in only one nostril. However, in infants with a blockage in both nasal passages, the condition can be life threatening.
Neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, allow the tongue to fall back into the throat, blocking the airway.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When breathing stops, oxygen levels in the body drop and carbon dioxide levels rise. This usually triggers the brain to wake us up to breathe. Most of the time, this happens quickly and we go right back to sleep without knowing we woke up.
This pattern can repeat itself all night in obstructive sleep apnea. Because of this, people who have it don’t reach a deeper, more restful level of sleep.
Signs of obstructive sleep apnea in kids include:
- snoring, often with pauses, snorts, or gasps
- heavy breathing while sleeping
Because it’s hard for them to get a good night’s sleep, kids might:
- have a hard time waking up in the morning
- be tired or fall asleep during the day
- have trouble paying attention or be hyperactive
As a result, obstructive sleep apnea can hurt school performance. Teachers and others may think a child has ADHD or learning problems.
Sleep Apnea Signs In Your Baby Or Child
Medical fact-check: Dr Leah Alexander, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Well-knownchild sleep apneasigns include snoring and difficultybreathing at night. But did you know that bedwetting, heavy sweating,attention problems and anxiety are also tell-tale symptoms?Obstructive apnea is quite common in babiesand inchildren. Unfortunately it oftengoesunnoticed and untreated. The reason is that the symptomsof are not always very clear.Do check the lists below and contact your doctor if you have theslightest suspicion, it is important.Worried?Questions? Don’t hesitate to Askme
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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy
When sleep apnea is severe or doesnt improve with initial treatment, your child may need continuous positive airway pressure therapy.
During CPAP therapy, your child will wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while they sleep. The mask is connected to a CPAP machine, which provides a continuous flow of air to keep their airway open.
CPAP can help the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, but it cant cure them. The biggest problem with CPAP is that children frequently dont like wearing a bulky face mask every night, so they stop using it.
Risk Factors For Children’s Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder affecting more than 18 million adults and 2% to 3% of children of all ages, even newborns, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It seems to run in families, and kids who have enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids have a higher risk of developing OSA.
Other factors include being obese, having a small jaw or midface, or a larger-than-usual tongue, being exposed to tobacco smoke, and having less muscle tone , explains Dennis Rosen, MD, associate medical director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital.
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Treatment For Sleep Apnea In Children
There are no universal guidelines for treating sleep apnea in children. For mild sleep apnea without symptoms, a doctor may choose not to treat the condition, at least not right away.
Some children also outgrow sleep apnea, so their doctor may monitor their condition to see if theres any improvement. The benefits of doing this have to be weighed against the risk of long-term complications from untreated sleep apnea.
For children with obstructive sleep apnea, initial treatments include diet and surgery. For children with central apnea, initial treatments include diet and treatment of underlying conditions.
Fast & Furious Breathing
So we already talked about the patterns that babies breathe in, and that it is normal for them to breathe fast, then slow, and then not at all for a few seconds. However, when you hear them breathe and they are only breathing very rapidly, that is another clear sign that something is wrong and they are having a hard time getting air in.
As adults, we also notice that when we deprive ourselves of breath too long, like underwater, or even when we are sick we breathe a lot faster. Our body either needs to make up for not breathing at all, or for not getting enough in one breath. This will cause our bodies to breathe a lot faster in order to get in as much air as possible. Rapid breathing is clear signal to get help for your little one.
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Sleep Apnea Signs In Children
Please verify ALL the symptoms below. If your child sleepsrather well and doesn’t wake you at night, you may only notice thedaytime signs – which are so often also normal in healthy children!
- Being moody regularly or most of the time
- Being very or overly active
- Mouth breathing
- Noisy breathing while awake
- Behavioral problems like anxiety, easilyfrustrated, attention and concentration problems, being aggressive,being emotionally unstable.
Sleepapnea in children is serious so do not hesitate todiscuss any of these symptoms with your physician.
Are Snoring And Pauses In Breathing Normal For Some Babies And Toddlers What Should I Do If I See My Child Snore And Have Pauses In Breathing During The Night
Snoring occurs in 10-14% of children. About 1/3 of children who snore might haveobstructive sleep apnea , where there is disrupted sleep and often drops in oxygen levels. Pauses in breathing can be quite normal in infants and children, especially when they are in dream sleep. Children and infants have more of that dreaming stage of sleep than adults, so the chances of catching them having pauses or irregular breathing are high.
If there is persistent snoring, look for daytime symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, like excessive sleepiness and/or behavioral difficulties. In older children, some possible daytime symptoms of OSA are problems with learning, attention, and memory.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many children snore because they have nasal allergies, and a trial of nasal sprays like corticosteroids over several weeks can bring great relief . If symptoms persist both by day and night, do talk to your doctor who should examine your child, particularly looking for large tonsils.
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Your Babys Breathing Is Usually Normal
Those first few weeks with baby can be scary. Its natural to analyze every move and every sound baby makesafter all, you just want him/her to be healthy. But the good news is that most of the time those funny noises babys making are totally normal. Babies breathe faster than adults do and its unusual for healthy, full-term babies to have breathing problems. Try to relax and have faithand keep baby close those extra snuggles will do you both good.
As always, if you have any concerns about your babys breathing, call your pediatrician immediately.
What Is Infant Apnea
Infant apnea is an episode when your baby stops breathing for more than 20 seconds for no obvious reason. Your baby may begin breathing again with certain measures or on his or her own. Infant apnea is also called a brief resolved unexplained event . A BRUE is an episode that frightens the person who sees it.
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What Should I Do If I Think My Child Might Have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
If you are worried that your child may have obstructive sleep apnoea, take them to your family doctor. Your doctor will examine your child and will refer them to an ear, nose and throat surgeon if their tonsils and adenoids are thought to be causing the problem, or to a paediatrician for further investigations. The doctor will want to know all about your childs sleep patterns and will examine the airway by looking into their mouth. A paediatrician may refer your child for a polysomnography or sleep study.
Becoming Limp As A Noodle
So, we already discussed one of the ways to make sure your baby is breathing is to look for movement. Any type of reflux or quick jerk from your baby is confirmation that they are breathing. If you are brave, and are OK with waking up your baby, you can pick your baby up. When you pick them up, pay attention to their reaction.
When an infant is lifted, this will undoubtedly trigger the moro reflux or any sort of quick jerk or movement. If you pick them up and they are completely limp, then something is wrong and they are probably not breathing or having extreme difficulty doing it. Limp will look very much like how it sounds, when you hold them by their torso, their arms, legs and head will all flop down.
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When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Always call the healthcare provider if you have any questions. In infants, minor symptoms can worsen very quickly. Also, call your child’s healthcare provider right away for any of these:
Pauses in breathing that last more than 15 seconds
Pauses in breathing that happen very often
Baby stops breathing and becomes limp, pale, or blue around the mouth
Baby’s skin is a bluish color during periods of normal breathing
Baby vomits repeatedly or is not eating well
Baby is not responding normally
Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or as directed by your child’s healthcare provider
Baby breathes very fast
What Causes Sleep Apnea
The most common cause of sleep apnea in children is enlarged tonsils and adenoids that block the airway and obstruct breathing during sleep. During the daytime, muscles in the head and neck more easily keep the airway passages open. During sleep, muscle tone decreases, allowing tissue to come closer together and these large tonsils and adenoids tend to block the airway for periods of time. Other tissues in the nose, neck and the tongue also contribute.
Other causes of OSA include:
- History of cleft palate or pharyngeal flap surgery
- Low muscle tone
- High muscle tone
- Tumor or growth in the airway
Sleep apnea also occurs more commonly in children with syndromes that alter the facial structure such as Down syndrome. Other children who may be at greater risk for developing OSA include those with nasal allergies, asthma, stomach acid reflux, and frequent upper airway infections.
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Baby Stop Breathing While Sleeping
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Brief Resolved Unexplained Event
A brief resolved unexplained event is when an infant younger than one year stops breathing, has a change in muscle tone, turns pale or blue in color, or is unresponsive. The event occurs suddenly, lasts less than 30 to 60 seconds, and is frightening to the person caring for the infant.
BRUE is present only when there is no explanation for the event after a thorough history and exam. An older name used for these types of events is an apparent life-threatening event .
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Injured In Hartford Shooting
Brancato said while he’s read about stories of pets saving their human family members, this one is a first for the hospital and serves as an important reminder for parents to know the signs of when their child is in distress.
“Their nose is flaring, the little knots between the collarbones will sink in the stomach and chest are moving opposite each other,” he explained.
As for Henry, Dowling said hes been getting plenty of treats for saving the day.
“We give him a stocking every year for Christmas and I’m going to have to refill the stocking before Christmas , because he’s gotten all of his toys early,” she said.
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When Your Babys Breathing Pauses During Sleep
One of the most frightening things for a parent is to be listening to your baby sleeping blissfully via the baby monitor, and then hear it just stop altogether.
You expect the breathing to pick back up right away, but it doesnt. In fact, it can take as much as 15 seconds before your baby starts breathing again. In parent years, that seems like an eternity. Those can be the 15 scariest seconds of your parenthood.
The good news is that your babys little pause is fairly common. In fact, doctors have even come up with a name for this phenomenon: Periodic Breathing. Periodic breathing is just something that happens up until about 6 months of age.
According to experts, a babys breathing can follow this kind of a patter as much as five percent of the time during sleep. These kinds of breathing pauses are more common in babies that were born prematurely, and they may experience it as much as ten percent of the time during sleep.
If youre worried that your baby has stopped breathing, you can touch her to see whether or not she responds. If she doesnt respond, she may be experiencing apnea, and you should immediately respond.
If your baby isnt breathing and you have someone else nearby, perform infant CPR immediately while the other personal calls 911. If no one else is around, perform infant CPR for two minutes and then call for help. Pick back up with CPR until help arrives.
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