Apnea codlata: leanaí buailte freisin

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Apnea codlata: leanaí buailte freisin

Adults do not have a monopoly on sleep apnea. Children can also unfortunately see their nights disturbed by this respiratory disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is when the child takes involuntary breathing pauses, of varying lengths, while he is sleeping. In other words, he stops breathing for a few seconds. This causes micro awakenings of which the child is not necessarily aware that they will impact the quality of sleep.


Sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is a disturbance of nocturnal ventilation due to the abnormally frequent occurrence of respiratory pauses. This syndrome is caused by repeated episodes of obstruction of the airways in the back throat.

Na cúiseanna

“Unlike adults, in children, we often find a morphological cause,” says Dr. Bioulac-Rogier. “For example, an enlarged adenoids or overly large tonsils. This hypertrophy blocks the passage of air, preventing the child from breathing well when lying down and asleep. Sometimes sleep apnea is due to a malformation of the jaw. “It is also more common in obese children. “

Na torthaí

Apneas cause a decrease in oxygen in the blood. When they are repeated, night after night, it is not trivial. Especially in a developing child. “Poor breathing at night has an impact on brain maturation”, warns Dr Bioulac-Rogier. “Hence the importance of making an early diagnosis, and of taking care of these children, without wasting time. Sleep apnea can also slow growth. Because growth hormones are secreted mainly during sleep. When it is non-recuperative, this manufacturing is put on pause. This fragmented sleep can cause difficulty in school, as the child has difficulty concentrating. Finally, this fatigue, by weakening the immune system, can be the cause of repeated infections.


Among the signs that should alert parents, “we find snoring every night and all night. And not just when the child has a cold ”And that’s not all. “This syndrome is often accompanied by night sweats, bedwetting, and headaches in the morning upon waking up. As these children breathe through their mouths, we also often find traces of drool on the pillow when they wake up. »Breathing through the mouth is not normal, it is a warning signal that should encourage consultation. “Sleep is fragmented, restless, non-recuperative. In fact, the child is often surrounded. As soon as he wakes up, even if he has had his quota of hours of sleep, he looks tired. He may be drowsy during the day, until he falls asleep in class. Conversely, some compensate for their fatigue by developing hyperactivity. »The child fights against drowsiness by moving more beautifully. He has trouble keeping still, has difficulty concentrating.

An diagnóis

Many children go undiagnosed… because you just don’t think about sleep apnea. Symptoms – sometimes agitation – can thus be mistaken for behavioral disturbances. Many wait long years before putting their ailments into words. To speed things up, parents must first be observant. And do not hesitate, on occasion, to make a foray into their child’s room to observe – and listen to – sleep. If in doubt, consult the general practitioner or the pediatrician. “Ideally, it is better to go to a child sleep unit. These units, like that of the Bordeaux University Hospital, bring together several specialists (ENT, pneumopediatrician, child psychiatrist, etc.). “In any case,” you cannot miss an ENT examination. Faced with a suspicion of sleep apnea, he will for example perform a nasofibroscopy. This examination, which lasts less than a minute, allows you to see if there is an obstacle to the passage of air in the upper airways (nose and / or throat).

Ag dul i bhfeighil

When detected, sleep apnea can be treated well. The aim is to treat the root cause of sleep apnea, to allow the child to breathe normally again at night. An obese child can for example rebalance his diet and play sports regularly to lose a few pounds. If the child has enlarged adenoids or tonsils, a visit to the operating room may be considered.

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In some cases, orthodontic treatment will solve the problem, widening the jawbone. There is often a rehabilitation to relearn to breathe with the nose, and re-educate the muscles of the tongue, with a physiotherapist and / or a speech therapist. Rarely, “the child will be counseled on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Worn at night, this machine connected to a mask placed on the face helps the small patient to breathe by propelling air into the nose. “In children, this treatment can have side effects on facial growth. It is therefore essential to accompany it with orthodontic follow-up. The treatment will be transient while the cause is resolved.

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