Sleep Awareness Week: Sleep Apnoea in Children can be Cured

(MENAFN Press) The American Association of Paediatrics Practice Parameters recently stated that all children should be screened for snoring because of the 70 per cent overlap of snoring and sleep apnoea.

TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre joins National Sleep Foundation in their focus to bring the importance of sleep awareness and education to the American public. NIH (National Institutes for Health) has identified that sleep-related breathing problems such as obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring affect 50 to 70 million Americans. Obstructive sleep apnoea has no age boundaries – it affects both adults and children.

Sleep apnoea is defined as the absence of breathing during sleep. When you are not breathing properly during sleep, there is little or no oxygen getting to the lungs – it is like slow suffocation. Suffocation triggers the cycle of repeated awakening to breathe resulting in interrupted and poor sleep. Suffocation can also trigger bruxism, which is an unconscious movement to open an airway. This constant movement not only wears down the teeth and the temporomandibular joint; it frequently results in craniofacial pain (headaches, migraines, TMD). A common reason for the medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a poorly positioned jaw or tongue, which can lead to a blocked airway preventing oxygen to the lungs. A custom-fabricated oral appliance can be the answer.

Because children are still growing, their structures can be directed for optimal development of the airway. Non-invasive treatment options are also available for adult patients suffering with sleep apnea including the CPAP intolerant patient.

It is important to understand that lack of oxygen needed for good sleep does not simply make you tired. There are a wide range of health conditions resulting from the cumulative effect of poor oxygenation and loss of sleep.

The American Association of Paediatrics Patient Parameters states all children should be screened for snoring and all children who snore should have a sleep study for evaluation of apnoea because of ADD/ADHD and cardiovascular risk.