Instances of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in young patients are often hard to recognize and diagnose. Most patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnea are adults, and the likelihood of being diagnosed increases for patients over the age of 40. However, young people can have sleep apnea, and prompt and effective treatment can vastly improve the quality of life for these young patients.
Our Saint Louis dentist office has compiled some signs and symptoms to look out for, so that you can talk to your dentist if you think your children or someone you know may be suffering from sleep apnea. Your dentist can conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether further intervention is necessary.
Obstructive sleep apnea prevents people from getting a full, restful night’s sleep. So young patients often exhibit signs of fatigue during the day, you may notice…
· That your child has great difficulty getting up in the morning
· That your child’s performance in school drops off—teachers may report that your child has trouble focusing or exhibits behavioral problems
· That your child is seemingly sluggish or lazy in class—teachers may think that your child is unmotivated when he/she is actually exhausted
You may also notice some of your child’s sleep habits change, including…
· Your child begins to sleep in a crouched stomach position, or begins to sleep with his/her neck extended and his/her mouth open
· Patients with sleep apnea often sweat profusely in their sleep
· Some young patients with sleep apnea begin to wet the bed
· You may notice that your child is snoring loudly and/or snorting himself awake at night
The good news is that there are treatment options available for sleep apnea. These treatments will alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea and help your child sleep peacefully again. You know how important a good night’s sleep is for young people—don’t wait to call our Saint Louis dentist office if you notice the signs of sleep apnea.