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Why Children Snore - It Could be Childhood Sleep Apnea

  • Published: 2012-08-31 : Author:
  • Synopsis: If a child is a restless sleeper who chronically snores mouth breaths and shows signs of daytime difficulties obstructive sleep apnea could be the cause.

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Dr. Brian Rotskoff, Chicago's obstructive sleep apnea expert, helps parents control the far-reaching effects of sleep apnea in children.

Snoring - The vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping.

  • Sleep Apnea - A common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing can pause from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you'll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

    With school days upon us, a good night's sleep should be on the top of each child's list of supplies. But for some children, getting the rest they need means more than an early bedtime. At Clarity Allergy Center in Chicago, allergy, asthma, and immunology expert, Dr. Brian Rotskoff, is helping parents recognize the signs of childhood obstructive sleep apnea by carefully monitoring childhood snoring and childhood nasal allergies.

    Many children snore from time to time, particularly if they have a cold or asthma. But as Dr. Rotskoff, a highly specialized pediatric nasal congestion and sleep apnea expert explains, "if your child is a restless sleeper who chronically snores and mouth breaths and shows signs of daytime difficulties, obstructive sleep apnea could be the cause." He also points out that the symptoms of sleep apnea in kids can be subtler than those of adult sleep apnea.

    Sleep Apnea In Children - What To Look For:

    Beyond restless nights, Dr. Rotskoff encourages parents who suspect their child may have obstructive sleep apnea to watch for these warning signs that can begin as early as 2-6 years of age.

    • Nighttime Sleep Apnea Symptoms
    • Persistent snoring and mouth breathing
    • Gasping or labored breathing
    • Frequent bedwetting beyond normal age range
    • Night sweats
    • Unusual sleeping positions
    • Daytime Sleep Apnea Symptoms
    • Allergies, asthma, or frequent ear infections
    • Poor school performance or trouble focusing on tasks
    • Behavioral or social problems
    • Bad mood or constant agitation
    • Depression or anxiety
    • Childhood Nasal Allergies and Asthma

    It's highly common for children with sleep apnea to have other breathing issues. "Some children are just persistent snorers and don't necessarily have sleep apnea," acknowledges Dr. Rotskoff, "but compounding issues, such as enlarged tonsils and adenoids, can elevate to sleep apnea."

    Dr. Rotskoff is one of few allergy and asthma experts to give childhood sleep apnea the attention it deserves. Even if your child is getting 10-12 hours of sleep each night, sleep apnea can cause enough disruption to affect mood, school performance, and overall behavior. "Studies show that middle school and high school kids with moderate to severe sleep apnea achieve lower grades and have greater trouble focusing or paying attention in class," he says.

    If you think your child suffers from sleep apnea, Dr. Rotskoff suggests a thorough exploration of all symptoms and physical factors that could contribute to breathing problems. Beyond monitoring your child's tonsil and adenoid size, Dr. Rotskoff will evaluate their soft palate and uvula, tongue, jaw positioning, and nasal passages and airways. He works closely with parents to determine the most conservative and effective treatment.

    "Addressing your child's sleep issues early will not only improve academic and social performance, it will also position them for healthy adult sleep habits," concludes Dr. Rotskoff.

    Visit or call 773-877-3500 to talk with Dr. Rotskoff about how to help your child get a healthy night's sleep. There are two convenient Clarity Allergy Center offices located in Chicago and Arlington Heights, a short distance from Lincolnwood, IL, Skokie, IL, Park Ridge, IL, Morton Grove, IL, and Niles, IL, Mount Prospect, IL, Palatine, IL, Elk Grove, IL, Buffalo Grove, IL, Bartlett, IL, Lake Zurich, IL, Schaumburg, IL, and Elgin, IL.


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