Complementary Medicine Association

Children's Sleep Apnea.

Do you know what it feels like to walk into your beautiful baby's nursery and see that your child is limp; lying there; not breathing, and turning blue? This ALTE (apparent life threatening event) could be caused by infant apnea.

Children, even newborns, can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Obese children are more at risk, but children from premature babies to young adults can suffer from obstructed sleep apnea. Unmanaged sleep apnea can cause heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, growth retardation, learning problems, depression, anxiety, digestive imbalances, memory and adrenal stresses, heart problems, mood swings and fatigue, to name a few health concerns.

Tonsils and Sleep Apnea in Children

Tonsils are growths of tissue at the back of the throat intended to block bacteria and prevent infection. Sometimes can become infected and can cause a sore throat, swollen glands and sleep apnea.

What Can a Parent Do to Help?

If your child is turning blue, call emergency help immediately and read this later.

If your child is overweight:

Exercise with them every day.

Turn off the TV and help them with their homework so they can get to bed early.

Eat a healthy diet of raw fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Go to salad bars and avoid fried or processed meals.

When you reduce your calorie intake, it will decrease the body's weight overall and reduce the fat deposits in your throat, respiratory organs as well as the rest of the body.

Sleep

Sleep on a firm, quality mattress.

Try sleeping on your side for a few nights. This change in position often clears your throat passage. This can diminish, if not eliminate, snoring.

Try placing a pillow against the back to avoid rolling onto one's back.

Raise the head by elevating the mattress, or for older children sleep on pillows

Nose clips are yet another option. They dilate the nostrils and enhance airflow.

Dental appliances can help correct or get rid of snoring. Called mandibular advancement splints, they push the lower jaw forward slightly, and thereby pull the tongue forward. This clears up your throat and makes breathing at night easier.

Find a dentist specializing in sleep apnea.

Caution: Splints can help reduce snoring and sleep apnea in mild to moderate sleep apnea. There are some possible side effects which include gradual movement of the teeth, temperomandibular joint disorder, excess salivation and gum irritation.

OTC (found in the store) mandibular advancement splints provide the same benefits if fitted correctly.

Surgery, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, might help in severe cases. The surgeon removes tissue at the back of the throat to widen the airway. (Including the uvula and pharynx). This is an invasive surgery that can cause long-term complications.

The Buteyko Method is a holistic breathing shown to significantly reduce the volume of air automatically breathed by within three months of starting a course.

Homeopathy and Acupuncture may also eliminate the symptoms.

***Seek medical advice to assess their treatment options and possible underlying risk factors.