Sleep apnea is not a disorder limited to adults; it can affect otherwise healthy children with symptoms presenting at an early age. Though symptoms may be milder than Adult OSA, if a child has always had symptoms, he/she may not even realize that it is not normal to have pain in their jaws, frequent headaches, or difficulty breathing; it is possible they have NEVER slept well and do not know how it feels to have a restful night of sleep.
Children with undiagnosed OSA are frequently misdiagnosed as having ADHD and placed on unnecessary medications.
Millions of children suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea remain untreated and misdiagnosed. Connor Deegan is just one example of how Pediatric Sleep Apnea can manifest itself:
The body requires oxygen to fully develop and rejuvenate, furthermore, growth hormones are released during deep sleep, and therefore it is imperative that children can breathe properly. When left untreated, sleep apnea can result in severe complications including:
Sleep apnea can also result in behavioral issues related to:
It is extremely common for children with OSA to be misdiagnosed as having ADD/ADHD and other behavioral/learning difficulties.
Early detection means an easier treatment with better results. Because children are still growing, their skeletal structure can be directed to develop in a way that will not block the airway. The optimum time to treat children is from ages one to five because 80% of anterior posterior growth of the head, neck, and airway takes place during this time. If we can begin treatment before this anatomy is done growing, we can actually direct the structural growth to prevent TMD and sleep apnea.
We work with you to create a treatment plan and custom design appliances which develop the jaw, open the nasal and oral airway, and correct the position of the teeth and skeletal symmetry.
Proper facial and airway development will not only ensure that your child avoids suffering now but will also prevent numerous health problems later in life such as hypertension, obesity, and heart disease. Your child’s quality of life is worth taking a preventative approach by having your child evaluated from an early age and regularly throughout their development.
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