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Patient Information

Pediatric sleep apnea is a more serious disorder, causing problems with normal breathing during sleep. It is believed that 1 to 4 percent of children in the United States have sleep apnea. Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your child’s breathing is partially or completely obstructed repeatedly during sleep.

While adults with sleep apnea typically have bouts of daytime sleepiness, pediatric sleep apnea patients are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems. The most common cause of sleep apnea in children is the enlargement of adenoids and/or tonsils while obesity can also play a factor as well as craniofacial abnormalities and neuromuscular disorders.

Early diagnosis is key in helping to prevent further complications such as: delayed cognitive development, behavioral issues, failure to grow and heart problems.

Signs and symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea might include:

  • Snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Restless sleep
  • Snorting, coughing or choking during sleep
  • Mouth breathing during sleep
  • Bed wetting
  • Sleep terrors
  • Sleepwalking

Infants and young children with obstructive sleep apnea don't always snore. They might just have disturbed sleep.

During the day, children with sleep apnea might behave in these ways:

  • Perform poorly in school
  • Have difficulty paying attention
  • Have learning problems
  • Have behavioral problems
  • Have poor weight gain
  • Be hyperactive

Sleep Apnea Solutions

Surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids may cure sleep apnea in children.