Sleep apnea is a condition that is unfortunately becoming more prevalent among Americans, and it doesn’t just affect adults. Studies show that over 1 million children suffer from the condition as well. One of the major steps for initiating sleep apnea treatment in Denver, though, is to be able to recognize the symptoms. Read on to learn what warning signs you should look for and how a sleep dentist can aid in your child’s recovery.
What is Sleep Apnea?
The human body is designed to operate in cycles. Thus, at night, it requires sleep to recharge itself so it can function properly during the day.
Sleep apnea interrupts this natural process by causing frequent lapses in breathing throughout the night. As a protective mechanism, when this happens, the brain sends a distress signal throughout the nervous system that causes the child to awaken. Since this can happen repeatedly during the normal sleep cycle, your little one misses out on the normal benefits of nightly rest.
The Usual Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
One way to combat sleep apnea is to be able to recognize the symptoms. The following traits should not be ignored:
- Bed wetting
- Loud snoring
- Inability to focus
- Frequent mood swings
- Behavior issues at school
- Gasping sounds while sleeping
- Daytime drowsiness after what should have been a full night of sleep
Why It’s Important to Treat Sleep Apnea
Treating sleep apnea is of paramount importance for several reasons. Firstly, getting the proper amount and quality of rest is essential to any human’s functionality, whether an adult or child.
More specifically related to children, though, the loss of adequate rest has been found to contribute to the development of attention deficit disorder (ADD), childhood obesity and pre-diabetes.
Available Treatment Methods
The most common method for treating sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which consists of a mask that attaches to a base unit that forces air into the throat. For many patients, though, this isn’t the most favorable form of treatment because of its more cumbersome nature and the noise of the machine.
An alternative is an oral appliance, which is small, portable, more comfortable to wear and silent. Its primary function is to reposition the jaw to maintain an open airway while your child sleeps.
Getting the help your child needs, though, starts with taking a proactive approach and contacting your pediatrician first so your child can be initially examined. Additionally, you can take a sleeping test in Denver to help in making a diagnosis.
Then with the help of your sleep dentist, you can rest assured that your child will get the sleep he or she desperately needs.
About the Author
Recognized as a Leader in Continuing Education in “Dentistry Today” since 2004, Dr. Gary Radz is an expert at treating sleep apnea. Since being diagnosed with the condition over 10 years ago and successfully receiving treatment with the CPAP machine, he has an intimate understanding of the condition and the effectiveness of the available treatment methods. Dr. Radz shares his vast knowledge to help patients recover from sleep apnea at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.