According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 11 percent of children in the United States suffer from ADHD. The symptoms include hyperactivity, trouble concentrating, and impulsivity. But did you know that those symptoms are also associated with sleep apnea in Glastonbury? If your child has been diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder, it is important that you understand the link between ADHD and sleep problems.
A Common Misdiagnosis
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder wherein the soft tissues in the mouth, such as the tongue or palate, block the airway during sleep. This causes short periods of not breathing called apneas. These apneas interrupt a person’s sleep cycle and make it impossible for them to get the high-quality rest they need in order to function at their best.
If a child has sleep apnea, they may manifest behavioral problems, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. It is all too easy for a doctor to misdiagnose them as having ADHD and prescribe a medication that does not address the real cause of the issue.
How can you tell the difference between the two disorders? One key is to pay attention to your child’s sleep habits. If they tend to snore loudly, wet the bed, sleep in unusual positions, or are extremely tired throughout the day, you should mention these things to your family doctor. A sleep test will determine whether your child has sleep apnea.
The Power of Sleep Apnea Treatment
Oftentimes, children with sleep apnea experience problems due to the improper development of the orofacial structures. For example, one portion of the jaw may grow faster than other parts. A dentist who is familiar with how young people’s face, teeth, and jaw should develop may be able to detect such issues early on. Children’s orofacial therapy in Glastonbury may be able to guide the development of important structures and help your little one to breathe easier at night. It could even spare them from experiencing sleep problems once they reach adulthood. Other therapies, such as a custom-made oral appliance or a CPAP machine, may also be necessary to address sleep apnea.
Regardless of whether your child has ADHD, getting them treated for sleep apnea can lead to many positive results. You may find that your son or daughter is happier, that they have longer attention span, and that they behave better at school and at home. They will also be at a lower risk of other health issues, such as heart problems and excessive weight gain.
Sleep is a precious commodity! If your child has (or has been diagnosed with) ADHD, pay attention to their nighttime habits so you can make sure they are getting the proper treatment for their condition.
Dr. Keith Hollinger has been a dentist for over 25 years. Throughout the decades, he has devoted extra time and study to learning the intricacies of dental sleep medicine and orofacial development. If you or your child has been struggling to get needed shuteye, Dr. Hollinger would be happy to help. Contact our office at 860-430-5687.