Avi Weisfogel Weighs Impact of Sleep Apnea In Children

Could snoring and sleepiness in kids be a hint at childhood sleep apnea? It could be. Sleep expert, Dr. Avi Weisfogel believes even children should be evaluated for sleep problems.

 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome is defined by partial or complete obstruction of the respiratory tract during sleep. The passage of air is blocked even as the child makes an effort to try to breathe. This can have three consequences on the functioning of the child’s body: first, a drop in the level of oxygen in the blood (hypoxia), then an irregular increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the blood (hypercapnia) and finally, a fragmentation of their sleep patterns.

 

How Do You Know: A Few Symptoms

 

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in children can be quickly identified as they sleep;

 

 

  • There is often a noisy snoring or breathing
  • The parent can see the child as they cease to breathe, even though the chest is lifted, you no longer heard the sound of breathing
  • Children seem to have nasal congestion during sleep

 

However, these symptoms alone do not always give a clear indication of sleep apnea, and children should be professionally diagnosed and treated. Left untreated, there can be a range of consequences.

 

Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

 

 

  • Delay in the child’s growth process . A sleep disorder affects the normal functioning of vital hormones such as growth hormone, the hormone that regulates chrono-biological rhythms (melatonin) and a steroid hormone (cortisol).
  • Health problems in general . Untreated sleep apnea can lead to heart problems, hypertension, obesity, decreased activity and can also affect the effectiveness of the immune system. Sleep apnea can unfortunately also contribute to the development of pulmonary dysfunction, premature aging, concentration, and mood disorders
  • Deficiency of intellectual development . Untreated sleep apnea too often deprives the brain of a sufficient amount of oxygen, which affects the functioning of the brain cells that are essential to the child’s good intellectual and cognitive development.

Avi Weisfogel began his extensive career as a dentist, serving the New Jersey community for nearly 15 years. After extensive research in the treatment of all sleep related disorders, Weisfogel founded Dental Sleep Masters, focusing on bridging the gap among dentists and physicians and how best to diagnose and treat sleep apnea patients. He has led nationwide patient education and is an outspoken advocate for sleep medicine and finding new strategies for solutions.

 

 

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