Both adults and children suffer from the effects of sleep apnea. The dangers of this sleep disorder going undiagnosed and/or untreated can be tragic. The most common warning signs in adult Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are:
- Sweating during sleep
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Restlessness during sleep
- Irritability, depression, trouble concentrating or forgetfulness
- Trouble rising in the morning
- Problems with sex
- Sudden wakes with the feeling you are gasping or choking
If you share your bed with another, they are more likely to identify these symptoms first.
The symptoms in children may be harder to identify. Our health system operates on a disease model and many times does not proactively arrest preventable problems. This is always sad but much more so when it involves our vulnerable children. Some symptoms of OSA in children are:
- Restlessness in bed
- Teeth grinding
- Abnormal positions in sleep such as a hyperextended neck or sleeping on their hands and knees
- Learning and behavior disorders
- Drooling and/or choking
- Sweating a lot at night
- Problems at school
- Perception of being lazy at daycare or at school
Talk to your child’s pediatrician if you notice any of these issues. Maybe the problems at school stem from their fight for oxygen! In our efforts to bring awareness to this issue we have gathered evidence based articles from medical journals that are put through a jury of doctors and scientists. Not only does this condition rob vital organs of oxygen, it can actually change the craniofacial development of your child. If your dentist or orthodontist is concerned that your child has enlarged tonsils and adenoids he will refer you to a specialist for evaluation. Because our system is a ‘disease’ model the specialist will frequently not recommend removal due to a lack of history with illness and infections. This seems reasonable to the unaware. However, if your child is suffering with any of the above symptoms, or if x-rays of the jaw and/or cranium (taken at dental/orthodontic appointments as standard of care) show abnormality of normal growth, be persistent. Download the linked articles and have an informed discussion.
This sleep disorder is characterized by frequent pauses and interruptions in breathing patterns, and can be life-threatening if not treated. Our dentist and team at Scott Ellard Dentistry offer sleep apnea resources to help you rest better at night and improve your overall health. Call us today at 269-329-1880 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Scott Ellard and to learn more about treatment options for sleep apnea in Portage, Michigan.