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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea in Children and Adults

Sleep apnea can occur in both children and adults.

What is Sleep Apnea?

The condition may be indicative of certain medical conditions that may cause the throat to narrow. A person who suffers from the condition might even stop breathing for some time while he/she is sleeping.  This also means that the brain might not be receiving a sufficient amount of oxygen.

The condition may occur in the following two types –

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – As the name implies, OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the soft tissue at the back of your throat collapses and obstructs the nasal airway. OSA is also the most common   form of the condition.

Central Sleep Apnea – This type of condition is not caused by an obstructed nasal passage. It occurs due to a more serious medical condition like an unstable respiratory control center in which the brain fails to send signals to initiate breathing.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

A person who suffers from sleep apnea may exhibit the following symptoms –

  • Heart burn or a sour taste in the mouth
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Chest pain and sweating while asleep
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Gagging or choking in the middle of the night

Sleep Apnea in Children

While sleep apnea may occur in any baby it is more common in babies who are born prematurely. The condition might be caused by an underdeveloped nervous system which is why babies are more likely to suffer from central sleep apnea. Other reasons might include sinus infections, exposure to drugs, gastroesophageal reflux, heart problems or brain hemorrhages.

Like adults, babies who have sleep apnea also stop breathing for a while during sleep. For instance, an infant who suffers from the condition may appear to breath faster or pause before breathing normally. If your child displays the same symptoms, it might be time to see a doctor.

A child who suffers from sleep apnea will always snore while asleep and may be sleepy throughout the day as well. Snoring is a raspy sound that occurs when a person’s breathing is obstructed while he/she sleeps. Other symptoms that might be indicative of the condition include –

  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle
  • Bed wetting
  • Stunted growth
  • Behavioral problems
  • Short attention span

The condition might prove to be fatal in babies since it may decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood stream. Situations such as these may cause the body to produce more carbon dioxide which might create medical problems.

No matter what type of sleep apnea you suffer from, it pays to be prepared. The ailment might indicate a more serious medical condition especially when it comes to children or infants. While mild forms of the condition can also be cured by home remedies, severe cases might require medical treatments. Your doctor may monitor your child’s breathing before recommending treatment.

About the Author Robert J. Hudson

Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!

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