Children and Sleep Apnea

While sleep apnea usually affects adults, between 1% and 4% of children may suffer from this disorder. However, few children are diagnosed, or their symptoms are misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, it is common for doctors and other professionals to look at a child’s symptoms and diagnose them with a hyperactivity disorder. Some research has shown that as many as a quarter of ADHD children actually have a sleep apnea disorder.

Because children with sleep apnea can have difficulty concentrating or display abnormal behavior, it can be mistaken for ADHD. However, this can simply be caused by lack of sleep. Be sure to keep an eye out for symptoms of sleep apnea. Obesity and enlarged adenoids and tonsils can also heighten your child’s risk of this disorder.

If you child has had a diagnosis of ADHD, you may still notice other problems affecting their health. See our sleep dentist if you notice the following:

  • Pauses in breathing while asleep
  • Severe, loud snoring
  • Fatigue and irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Bedwetting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Behavioral issues

To determine your child’s specific condition, contact your pediatrician to arrange a sleep test. Once your child’s physician has given a sleep apnea diagnosis, contact Staten Island Dental Sleep Health at 718-948-5100. Treatment can vary from a CPAP machine to an oral appliance or even medication. Dr. Mel Pearson will be able to go over treatments for children’s sleep apnea in Staten Island, New York.