Snoring, stoppage of breathing during sleep, restless sleep and sleeping in strange positions are symptoms of sleep apnea in children. They also suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness and have attention problems and hyperactivity often with complaints from school.
If your child has these symptoms talk to your doctor. If you suspect your child may have sleep apnea, try videotaping him as he sleeps. Showing this video to your child’s doctor can help him or her make a diagnosis. Best way to make a diagnosis is to do a sleep study which these days can be done at your own home while the child sleeps.
The most common cause of sleep apnea in children is large adenoids and tonsils. (The adenoids are a mass of tissue that connects the back of the nasal cavity to the throat.) When the throat muscles relax during sleep the adenoids and tonsils can block the airway.
Treating snoring and sleep apnea in children
Those children who have sleep apnea from enlarged tonsils and adenoids can be helped by their removal. Some children have a dramatic positive change in personality, school work and health. Other kids with sleep apnea may be treated with positive airway pressure therapy, a special mask that keeps the airway open during sleep and/or assists breathing, but I wouldn\’t recommend it in an Indian scenario.