obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea … the illness that knows no age limit

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Age is no guide.

Another restless night of tossing and turning, recurrent awakenings and a spouse revisiting the spare room sound familiar? Well, with over 40% of adult males and 24% adult females habitual snorers, and often this is a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. But when was the last time you paid close attention to how your child is sleeping? With approximately 15% of children diagnosed snorers, they too are at risk of suffering the effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

What can cause us to snore?

Snoring occurs when airflow through the nose and mouth is hindered by a blockage in the upper airway. When children (and adults) fall asleep, this blockage can interrupt their breathing once muscles have relaxed. Loud snoring is often a tell-tale sign of OSA, and usually first diagnosed by the sufferer’s loved one.

Could my child have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Like in adults, some possible symptoms of OSA your child may display include:
  • Loud snoring, pauses in breathing and difficulty breathing during sleep
  • Restless and sweaty while asleep
  • Chokes, gasps or snorts in their sleep
  • Unusual sleeping positions, for example propped up high on pillows
  • Breathing through their mouth instead of their nose at night
  • Frequent headaches
  • Tired in the morning
  • Blocked nose, poor appetite and/or problems swallowing
Remember, a disrupted sleep the night before can also lead to attention and concentration difficulties for an OSA sufferer the next day… whether that’s your preschool-aged son or your retired mother.

Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

There are various ways to treat the symptoms of OSA once you receive a diagnosis. In children, surgery to remove their adenoids and tonsils may be required. A range of lifestyle and dietary changes for both adults and children can also be implemented in daily life to assist with easing the symptoms. Another treatment option for adults and children with OSA is a Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) machine and customised ApneaSeal mask to help them breathe at night. This mask is designed specifically to optimally fit the contours of each individual’s nose, making it suitable for all ages. To find out more about the CPAP machine and mask, contact ApneaSeal to make your obligation-free appointment.