How Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Can Improve Your Child’s Health

Children with crowded or crooked teeth and those with enlarged tonsils or adenoids are at risk for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes breathing pauses during sleep that can last several seconds.

These interruptions can disrupt a child’s sleep and cause them to struggle with mood, behavior and school performance challenges. They are also at risk for serious health problems, which can lead to poor growth and development.


Many children have a breathing pattern that is abnormal during sleep. This may cause various problems with their health and quality of life. Parents should monitor and communicate their child’s behavior during the day and night, especially about snoring and other symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (SBD).

Snoring is often the first sign that a child might have a breathing problem. It’s caused when air moves past relaxed throat tissues, which vibrate and produce the snoring sound. Pauses in breathing, lasting for a few seconds or minutes, can also be a symptom of sleep apnea.

These pauses are triggered by decreased oxygen levels, which causes the brain to wake the body. This results in short, restless sleep and can cause fatigue, difficulty falling asleep, and a lack of focus during the day. Children with untreated sleep apnea may also experience behavioral and emotional problems like attention disorders, hyperactivity and depression.


Sleep-disordered breathing in children is much more common than many parents realize. Symptoms such as mouth breathing, loud snoring and daytime fatigue are often overlooked, misdiagnosed or left untreated. This can impact your child’s overall health and lead to behavior problems such as ADD/ADHD, school failure, behavioral issues and even bed wetting.

Infants and young children are particularly susceptible to obstructive sleep apnea because they tend to tuck their heads in when sleeping, causing enlarged tonsils or adenoids to block their airways. They may also have a narrow upper dental arch or an underdeveloped jaw that can cause them to struggle with breathability.

The best way to diagnose SDB in your child is by conducting a sleep study or polysomnography, which uses wires to monitor brain activity, muscle tone and eye movement. If the results are borderline or normal, a diagnosis can still be made based on parental observations and clinical evaluation. For instance, the sleep-disordered breathing Los Angeles CA team treats mild-to-moderate SDB with Vivos oral appliance therapy, which reduces snoring and improves sinus congestion, the airway and a full night’s rest to help your child maintain proper oxygenation and achieve greater wellness.


Several treatments are available for sleep-disordered breathing. The best treatment for your child will depend on the type of disorder and its symptoms.

If your child snores, sleeps with their mouth open or has behavioral problems during the day, they may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Some children with OSA don’t snore but experience long periods of disturbed or interrupted sleep and are chronically tired. These problems can interfere with their growth and development, and they can cause poor school performance and social issues.

The solution for some children with OSA is to remove their tonsils and adenoids. Ear, nose and throat surgeons perform these procedures with minimally invasive techniques to help prevent airway obstruction, reduce sleep disruption and improve breathing. Tongue reduction surgery can also be an option for some children with obstructive sleep apnea. This procedure removes excess tissue from the base of the tongue to make the language less likely to fall into the airway during sleep.


Your child’s health and well-being depend on proper oxygenation, a comfortable airway and a good night’s sleep. Early detection and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing in children is so important.

Children with pediatric sleep apnea may snore loudly or gasp for air at night or wake up often during the night. They can also experience various daytime symptoms, such as inattention, mood swings, weight problems and learning difficulties.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when something collapses and blocks the airway, causing oxygen levels to drop in the blood. This causes the heart to stimulate the body to wake up and take a breath, which can occur many times per hour for a few seconds. These episodes of nocturnal hypoxemia cause the body to activate the stress response, which can lead to cardiovascular problems in adults. This is why it’s so important to identify and treat obstructive sleep apnea in children.


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