Does Your Child Have Sleep Apnea or ADHD?

Ten percent of kids 10 and under snore according to the Stanford School of Medicine.  And about 20% of kids who snore have OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).  OSA is serious; it’s a medical condition that interrupts and/or stops breathing at night.  It prevents a normal sleep, impairs growth, leads to future low quality of life, and causes fatigue during the day.  That if the reason it is often confused with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Not all kids with OSA have ADHD and not all kids with ADHD have OSA.  But studies indicate a correlation between OSA and behavioral issues.  Some kids with OSA don’t get good restful sleep.  They can be irritable and have difficulty concentrating, have hyperactive behavior, and act impulsively.  And these are classic symptoms of ADHD.

Dig deeper into the cause of these behaviors.  Check for mouth breathing, snoring, or pauses in breathing at night.  You may then want to have the child seen by a sleep physician and see of OSA is present.  Ask these questions:

Does my child snore?
Does my child stop breathing at night?
Does my child mouth breath?
Does my child sleep with the butt up in the air?
Does my child wet the bed frequently?
Does my child have difficulty focusing?
Does my child have periods of hyperactivity?
Does my child have periods of irritability?

Large tonsils and adenoids are the most frequent causes of OSA in kids.  An exam by an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat doctor) is in order.  If these are blocking the airway at night, a successful treatment may be their removal.

Snoring is a main symptom of OSA.  And OSA is easily diagnosed with a sleep test done in your own home.  Remember, snoring/OSA are treatable.  And they MUST be treated to prolong your life.  Make an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your questions and see the different treatment options that are available.  Call our office at 208-667-4551.