Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when a child stops breathing during sleep. The cessation of breathing usually occurs because there is a blockage (obstruction) in the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea affects many children and is most commonly found in children between 2 and 6 years of age, but can occur at any age.
Why does my child stop breathing in her sleep?
Obstructive sleep apnea is when a child briefly stops breathing while sleeping. It often occurs because of a blockage in the airway. The most common cause is large tonsils and adenoids in the upper airway. Loud snoring or noisy breathing while sleeping is a main symptom.
Is it normal to have pauses in breathing while sleeping?
Brief pauses in breathing during sleep are normal. But when breathing stops often or for longer periods, it’s called sleep apnea. When someone has sleep apnea, oxygen levels in the body may fall and sleep can be disrupted. You might think that only older people have sleep apnea, but kids and teens can develop it, too.
Why do babies stop breathing for a few seconds while sleeping?
During sleep, when the brain is less active, breathing becomes slower and shallower. It is also normal for infants (and some adults) to have short pauses in breathing. In infant apnea, these pauses are too long.
Is sleep apnea life threatening in children?
Is sleep apnea life-threatening? Severe sleep apnea can be life-threatening. If left untreated, it can affect the child’s sleep architecture because the brain continually wakes the child up to breath. If this happens often enough, the infant doesn’t get restful sleep, which can affect functioning during the day.
How can I tell if my child has sleep apnea?
Signs of obstructive sleep apnea in kids include: snoring, often with pauses, snorts, or gasps. heavy breathing while sleeping. very restless sleep and sleeping in unusual positions.
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Loud snoring.
- Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep.
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking.
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat.
- Morning headache.
- Difficulty concentrating during the day.
How long can you live with untreated sleep apnea?
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can shorten your life from anywhere between 12-15 years. While there is no permanent cure for obstructive sleep apnea, proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary to alleviate its effects and to ensure that your OSA won’t shorten your life.
Can you suffocate from sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea will not cause suffocation
Although sleep apnea does cause a temporary cessation of breathing, the nervous system detects this and awakens the person enough that they start to breathe again. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you will not simply stop breathing and die at night.
How many times does someone with sleep apnea stop breathing?
People who have sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while they are sleeping. These short stops in breathing can happen up to 400 times every night. If you have sleep apnea, periods of not breathing can disturb your sleep (even if they don’t fully wake you up).
When do babies stop pausing breathing?
What can you expect when your infant has it? Your baby may have periodic breathing when he or she is sleeping. It happens less often as your infant grows. The condition should stop by the time your baby is 6 months old.
How do I know if my child has a sleeping disorder?
Signs of Sleep Problems in Children
- Breathing pauses during sleep.
- Trouble falling asleep.
- Problems with sleeping through the night.
- Trouble staying awake during the day.
- Unexplained decrease in daytime performance.
- Unusual events during sleep such as sleepwalking or nightmares.
- Teeth grinding.
How can I help my child with sleep apnea?
Treatment might include:
- Medications. Topical nasal steroids, such as fluticasone (Dymista) and budesonide (Rhinocort, Pulmicort Flexhaler, others), might ease sleep apnea symptoms for some children with mild obstructive sleep apnea. …
- Removal of the tonsils and adenoids. …
- Positive airway pressure therapy. …
- Oral appliances.