Sleep Apnoea in Kids

Kids deserve good sleep for good growth. Does your child snore? Could their daytime behavioural difficulties be due to poor night-time sleep? Do they breathe heavily at night? Are they congested in the nose? Are they restless? Do they sleep with their head back and mouth open? Do they have pauses in their breathing? These may be signs that they are suffering from Sleep Apnoea. 

The effects of sleep apnoea in kids differ from those in adults. In adults, tiredness, cardiovascular events and accidents are the significant manifestations. In kids, sleep apnoea presents with more neurocognitive and behavioural challenges. Their attention, learning and development may be affected. Many kids with behavioural and learning disorders may have an associated sleep disorder.

There are two kinds of sleep apnoea: central apnoea (brain) or obstructive sleep apnoea (airway); or a combination of both. There are also other behavioural sleep disorders such as insomnia, parasomnia, night terrors, etc. The intrusion of screen technology into our kids’ lives have also affected their sleep quality.

The ENT Surgeon works in conjunction with Paediatric Sleep Specialists to ascertain the sleep disordered breathing issues that your child may have. The role of the ENT surgeon here is to provide the best airway possible for a good sleep. That may include an endoscopic assessment, nasal medications or surgery in the form of adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, turbinate surgery, septal surgery, tongue tie release, tongue coblation, palatal surgery or laryngeal surgery tailored to the anatomy of the obstruction. Sometimes, observation and reassurance are all that is needed.

Getting an expert assessment and opinion is always a good first step. Please contact us for an appointment. Dr Levi is also available to provide educational talks on this topic.