Sleep Apnea in Children

Michigan Sleep Medicine Expert Dr. R Bart Sangal Diagnoses & Treats Dangerous Sleep Apnea in Children

Children with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. When they stop breathing, blood oxygen falls. Brain oxygen falls. Blood pressure rises. Heart rate drops. Irregular heartbeats may occur. The body responds with inflammation. The brain may suffer damage. In younger children, doing this even a few times at night can cause problems.

Sleep apnea causes sleepiness, attention and learning problems. Children with sleep apnea may have trouble with hyperactivity, moodiness and relationships. Schoolwork and grades may suffer. Severe sleep apnea can affect the heart, lungs, and blood pressure. There is help and hope. Dr. R Bart Sangal is a Sleep Medicine expert. He diagnoses and treats sleep disorders in patients ages one and older. He founded the Sleep & Attention Disorders Institute in Sterling Heights, Mich. to help patients from all over the Greater Detroit Metro area get relief from their sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. It is located where Troy, Rochester Hills, Shelby Township and Sterling Hts come together.

Call us today to make your appointment with Dr. Sangal. Or, fill out our convenient online contact form and we will call you right away.

Why is Sleep Apnea Dangerous in Children?

Does your child snore? Snoring can be dangerous to your child’s health. Snoring may be a sign that your child has sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is common in adults. It affects one to two percent of children. It can be quite dangerous. Sleep apnea can be very disruptive to a child’s attention and alertness, ability to perform in school and interact with others.

  • Sleep Apnea impairs your child’s attention and memory.
  • Sleep Apnea in children may cause Attention Deficit (ADD/ADHD).
  • Sleep Apnea can make your child tired or sleepy.
  • Sleep Apnea increases your child’s blood pressure.
  • Sleep Apnea can lead to irregular heartbeat.
  • Sleep Apnea can cause mood problems.
  • Sleep Apnea can cause insomnia.
  • Sleep Apnea increases risk of accidents in teenagers.

Children who snore quite likely have sleep apnea if they:

  • Stop breathing while sleeping.
  • Wake up choking or gasping for breath.
  • Feel tired or sleepy during the day.
  • Are overweight or obese.
  • Have insomnia.
  • Have Attention Deficit (ADD/ADHD).
  • Have memory problems.
  • Have learning problems.
  • Have mood problems.
  • Have large tonsils.
  • Have a small jaw.
  • Have high blood pressure.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Children: Polysomnography

A painless overnight sleep study diagnoses sleep apnea in both children and adults. The Sleep & Attention Disorders Institute is the oldest continuously accredited sleep center in the Detroit area. For adults, home sleep apnea tests are a possibility. Home sleep apnea testing is not appropriate for children.

Dr. Sangal may suggest that your child needs a sleep test to diagnose a sleep disorder such as dangerous sleep apnea. If so, your child will spend the night in the sleep center. The technicians are extremely friendly and very well-trained. They are great with children. You will be able to stay the night with your child.

You and your child arrive late in the evening after dinner, so your child is already getting sleepy… We apply sensors to the skin and scalp. These sensors are completely painless. They do not penetrate skin. There is no pain. There are no injections. With a younger child, you can sleep in the same bed to comfort the child. Throughout the night, the sensors record:

  • Brain waves
  • Eye activity
  • Chin activity
  • Breathing effort
  • Airflow
  • Heart rhythm
  • Blood oxygen
  • Leg activity
  • Carbon dioxide in air breathed out

The sleep test shows sleep stages and any breathing abnormalities while your child is asleep. The effect of breathing abnormalities on sleep, oxygen, heart rhythm is checked. A technologist is present throughout the entire night. If a sensor falls off, he or she will come over and re-attach it. If your child needs to go to the bathroom, the technician will detach and re-attach the sensors quickly.

Sleep Apnea Treatments for Children & Teenagers

Tonsillectomy: In younger children with large tonsils, removing the tonsils helps. Sleep testing should be done before tonsillectomy for snoring or sleep apnea. Tonsillectomy does not always work. After the tonsils are removed, we will repeat the sleep test.

Craniofacial surgery: In children with craniofacial disorders (such as cleft palate or certain inherited disorders), surgery to correct the disorders may help.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): In older children and teenagers, and in young children without large tonsils, CPAP is the best treatment. If we find that removing the tonsils did not fully control your child’s sleep apnea, we also use CPAP. We have great success in helping even young children use CPAP regularly. In teenagers, CPAP is the best treatment. It works for everyone. It stops dangerous sleep apnea. At the Sleep & Attention Disorders Institute, we are very successful in getting our child patients to use the machine regularly. We work very closely with them to make sure the face mask fits your child comfortably.

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a small machine that pushes room air into the nose. The air is pumped into a mask or nasal pillow on the child’s nose or face. CPAP keeps the throat open. It stops snoring and sleep apnea. These machines have become quite small. They sound like a fan. There are a lot of masks and nasal pillows. A comfortable one is easy to find for your child.

The best way to find the right pressure and the right mask is during an overnight test in the sleep center. This test is important. If the pressure is too high, it’s difficult for the child to keep the mask on. It interrupts sleep. If the pressure is too low, it won’t treat the sleep apnea. We will find the right pressure for your child.

Poor sleep, sleepiness and attention deficit may improve or even disappear with treatment. After we treat your child’s sleep apnea, Dr. Sangal will also treat any remaining problems with sleep, sleepiness or attention deficit. Contact the Sleep & Attention Disorders Institute today. It is located near Shelby Township, Macomb Township and Pontiac. Help for your child’s sleep problems is one phone call away.

Child Sleep Medicine Expert Dr. R Bart Sangal Will Treat Your Child’s Sleep Apnea

Snoring is a sign of dangerous sleep apnea. Many parents ignore snoring in children. Many pediatricians may not think of sleep apnea. Sometimes a doctor will recommend having a child’s tonsils removed to treat snoring. In young children with large tonsils, removing the tonsils may help. But it does not always help. Tonsils should not be removed just for snoring without sleep apnea. Dr. Sangal will diagnose your child’s sleep apnea and find the best treatment.

Contact us today to set up an appointment with Dr. R Bart Sangal. Patients from all over Macomb and Oakland counties come to the Sleep & Attention Disorders Institute. Our facility is local to residents of Clinton. Bloomfield Township, Macomb Township, and Warren, Michigan.

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