Common ENT Problems

Sleep Apnea in Children

Sleep apnea in children is a serious problem. It has many signs and symptoms, which include snoring, tossing and turning at night, mouth breathing, sleepwalking, sleep talking, nasal congestion, bed-wetting, and nighttime cough. Oftentimes, the problem is secondary to enlargement of the tonsils or enlargement of the adenoids or enlargement of both. The removal of the tonsils and adenoids is typically 97% effective in stopping sleep apnea in children. Sleep apnea is a very prevalent problem. 92% of all cases are not diagnosed, referred, or treated. Only 8% of these problems ever get recognized and referred for proper treatment. Oftentimes, a preoperative evaluation called a sleep study is performed to check for the presence or absence of sleep apnea. For children who have sleep apnea, it is characterized by breath holding spells of ten seconds or longer greater than six times per night. This often disrupts the sleep to such a point that the child has behavioral issues the next day. If you suspect your child has a problem with sleep apnea and your child has incessant snoring, you should ask for an evaluation by a board certified ear, nose, and throat doctor. The specialists at the Pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic have been taking care of sleep apnea in children for over 25 years. Please contact our office at 1-800-526-0998 if you suspect your child has sleep apnea.