Vestal, NY, Orthodontist Answers: What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which your airway collapses. Our top-rated Vestal, NY, orthodontist explains that this decreases the oxygen flow to your brain. Your body reacts by gasping to increase your oxygen intake, sometimes waking you up many times throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in children than previously thought. Our orthodontist in Vestal, NY, suggests staying vigilant for the following symptoms, which may indicate your child is not getting quality sleep.
Signs of OSA in Children, According to Our 5-Star Vestal, NY, Orthodontist
- Hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Difficulty waking up and getting out of bed in the morning
- Falling asleep during class, not paying attention, having trouble concentrating
- Acting-out/hyperactivity/temper tantrums
- Problems getting along with others, antisocial behavior
- Poor grades: chronic fatigue impairs memory, concentration, and problem solving. Children’s grades often improve when they get proper sleep.
- Height and Weight: children who don’t get enough sleep can have problems growing and may have trouble achieving a healthy height and weight.
Our Vestal, NY, Orthodontist Answers: What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Several factors can lead to your child struggling with OSA, including:
- Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids
- Being overweight or obese
- Genetic or neuromuscular disorders
- Narrow palate/crossbite/crowding
To diagnose OSA in your child, a polysomnography (sleep study) may be ordered by an ENT doctor. Conducted in a sleep lab, a sleep study will monitor your child’s brain waves, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, awakenings, etc. to determine what is specifically causing the restlessness.
Surgery may be the most effective recommendation for your child when the tonsils and adenoids are the primary cause of OSA. Additionally, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-PAP) is a non-surgical treatment that may help your child. This device is a facial mask worn while sleeping that supplies oxygen to the brain.
How Our Vestal, NY, Orthodontist Can Help
If a narrow palate, crossbite, or crowding of the teeth is determined to be the cause of OSA for your child, our Vestal, NY, orthodontist can work with you and your child to provide a top-rated orthodontic treatment plan to correct those obstructions keeping your child from being able to properly breath.
If you are concerned that your child may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, call our Vestal, NY, orthodontic office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Muench, or consult with your healthcare provider.