What is Sleep Disordered Breathing?
Sleep disordered breathing refers to abnormal breathing that creates disturbances while asleep. It refers to a broad range of symptoms and Sleep Apnea is the most severe form.
How can I tell if my child has this?
Observe your child sleeping. Check for the following symptoms:
Dark circles under their eyes (allergic shiners)
Grinding their teeth:
Headaches in the morning
Unexplained sore teeth
Gasping for air or pauses in breathing
Aren’t those behavior normal? Why should I be concerned?
The above behaviors are common but should not be considered normal. When a child is struggling to breath, their body, including the brain, doesn’t receive adequate amounts of oxygen. This could lead to a number of medical issues, including delays in intellectual development and misdiagnosis of ADD or ADHD.
What kind of treatment is necessary?
The most common cause is airway obstruction, and the most common airway obstructions are tonsils/adenoid overgrowth or allergies. We typically involve our Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist. Sometimes, it could mean having tonsils and/or adenoids removed. It could also mean having early orthodontic intervention or myofunctional therapy.
What do I do now?
Look for the symptoms listed above. Because the tongue is in a low position in mouth breathing, it can affect the development of the upper jaw (narrower or flared) and the muscles of swallowing and chewing. We will evaluate your child every 6 months for early orthodontic treatment or myofunctional therapy. If necessary we will talk to you about starting the proper treatment or make the appropriate referrals. We also advise you to bring this up with your pediatrician at your child’s next well-visit. A referral to the ENT specialist might be necessary.