Saturday, April 8, 2023

Child breathing stops during sleep.. causes and symptoms

Sleep Apnea:

Sleep apnea in children is a medical problem that must be paid attention to. It's not just snoring that comes and goes; This masks a more significant respiratory disorder.

When to consider sleep apnea in children We cannot reduce this disorder to simple snoring in some babies at birth. In this case, sleep apnea is a change in breathing that occurs during rest time.

Obstructive sleep apnea in children occurs when a child's breathing stops for a period of time. This cut-off can be partial, with a certain air flow remaining. or completely, with no oxygen exchange during this time.

Hence the seriousness of the disorder that must be addressed and resolved. In fact, without the entry and exit of gases for metabolism, many bodily functions are disrupted, including those of the brain. In this article, we talk more about sleep apnea in children and its possible treatments.

Causes of sleep apnea in children:

The root cause of this problem in young children lies in the structure of their airways. By itself, a child's airway is smaller than an adult's, with a limited diameter that can sometimes become obstructed due to the elasticity of the trachea.

Some babies have narrower airways than others, for anatomical reasons or because of frequent infections. Also, from an anatomical point of view, a small trachea resulting from specific cartilage does not resemble an enlarged tonsil.

One of the most common causes is tonsil enlargement. This lymphatic tissue that acts as a defense can increase in size and prevent air from entering the body properly. Especially when lying down.

The shape of the lower jaw is also a risk factor. Babies with smaller facial bones have a different door for air access, which makes it difficult for them to get inside.

On the other hand, children who are overweight have a multiplier factor. On the other hand, the fat accumulated in the neck presses on the trachea. On the other hand, the tongue is extended and lowered back in the sleeping position.

Children with cerebral palsy are a special case. This condition is characterized by more fluid muscle tension which promotes bronchial obstruction.

Visible symptoms of this disorder:

The signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in children are related to the respiratory system. The main thing is snoring. These are infants who snore a lot, and their voices are similar to those of adults.

In turn, snoring is often accompanied by a pause in breathing and rhythm. This is called free. When there is no inhalation or exhalation and lung mechanics are suspended for a moment.

Sometimes parents or teachers discover this phenomenon, but most of the time it goes unnoticed. This does not mean that we have to constantly monitor our children's sleep, but we must pay attention every now and then, especially the sounds.

Children with obstructive sleep apnea prefer to breathe through their mouths because this mechanism increases the volume of air. However, it dries out the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose, which increases thirst and nighttime awakenings.

Long-term effects of sleep apnea in children:
What are the consequences of lack of rest and decreased oxygen intake during sleep? Well, children with this disorder tend to be hyperactive during the day. This results in a higher caloric expenditure. Therefore, if there is no compensation, it may delay the correct progression of the baby's weight.

In addition, children with obstructive apnea are also at risk of developing early changes in their nascent teeth. According to an article in the Journal of the Mexican Dental Association, bruxism or bruxism is more common in children with this sleep disorder.

In the long term, in adolescence and adulthood, children who have experienced obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to develop high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. This becomes more evident in obese children.

Possible treatments:

Treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea vary. Among the strategies currently available, we can cite the following:

Nasal corticosteroids:

It is used topically for congestion of the mucous membranes of the nose. They are effective for rhinitis and should always be prescribed by a doctor.

Adenoid surgery:

Adenoidectomy is the treatment of choice for children with enlarged tonsils.

Health and nutritional measures:

In mild cases, the situation may improve by modifying habits. For example, the baby's bedtime position, sleep schedule, distribution of meals, and the distance between the last meal and bedtime.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment:

In severe cases that do not improve with any of the above alternatives, continuous positive airway pressure equipment is used. It involves injecting positive air pressure into the airways to force enough oxygen into the lungs. This represents the last option, because its use is then chronic.

How do you deal with sleep apnea in your child?

If your child has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, do not panic, but provide him with proper care. The period of children's development is very important because it affects the rest of their lives.