Is your child experiencing breathing difficulties while they sleep? Sleep disordered breathing is a condition that can interrupt your child’s sleep patterns. When your child isn’t sleeping enough, it can make an overall difference on their health and well-being.
There are a variety of causes for sleep disordered breathing in children. However, here are five possible causes:
- Ear infections
- Enlarged tonsils
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Sinus infections
By the time they are two, over 90% of children will have had at least one ear infection. However, by their third birthday, five-out-of-six children will have had one or more ear infection. It’s also been shown that 30% of children will have had three or more ear infections by their third birthday.
The pain associated with ear infections, as well as other related symptoms, can make an obvious difference in your child’s ability to fall and remain asleep.
When children have enlarged tonsils, they were 3.7 times more likely to experience sleep disordered breathing. Currently, approximately 20% of tonsillectomies are conducted for tonsil infections and 80% for obstructive sleep issues.
On an annual basis, there are approximately 300-to-400,000 tonsillectomies performed for children and adolescents, according to recent government statistics. It’s interesting to note that 30 years ago, around 90% of the tonsillectomies performed for children were due to recurring infections.
Sinus infections may also cause your child to have trouble sleeping. These types of infections can be painful and also cause your child to snore. When your child has chronic sinus infections, endoscopic sinus surgery may be recommended in some cases.
While it is is common for children to snore, and approximately 12% of children may snore, one-to-three percent of these children may also have sleep disordered breathing. It has also been determined that two-to-four percents of children that snore may also have obstructive sleep apnea.
Ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents can be evaluated and treated by a pediatrician. If your child or adolescent also has sleep disordered breathing, this, too, can be determined by a visit to an ear, nose, and throat doctor.
Since there may be other reasons that your child is experiencing difficulty breathing while they sleep, it’s important to take them to a pediatric ear, nose, and throat doctor as soon as possible. As a parent, you want your child to healthy and happy. When your child isn’t receiving enough sleep, this can make a major impact on their health as well as his or her ability to concentrate in school.