Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, is characterized by episodic obstruction of the upper respiratory tract that occurs during sleep. Apnea is a medical term for the suspension of external respiratory. Airway obstruction can be complete or partial. Sleep disturbances leave some child sleepy during the day, with difficulty getting up in the morning and impaired concentration. There can also be complaints of nightmares and headaches in the morning.(1)
It is characterized by passive pressure that blocks the upper airway. With a little pressure, the airway narrows, but with enough pressure, the airway is completely collapsed. Most of the causes of obstructive sleep apnea are structural problems, such as adenoids and tonsils, or craniofacial dysplasia and obesity. In addition, inflammation and infection play a role. Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways and causes bronchiolar stenosis of the lungs. Other examples of increased pressure and inflammation include allergic and non-allergic rhinitis and acute or chronic sinusitis.(2)
Can Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children Go Away On Its Own?
It is unlikely that Obstructive sleep apnea in children will go away without any intervention. Mild sleep apnea can be ignored, but you never know when it will become more serious. It is too dangerous to ignore sleep apnea, particularly for small children who may not convey their symptoms and problems to adults properly. If left untreated, the effects of Obstructive sleep apnea may be further exacerbated, impairing learning and memory, decreasing language learning and ability to manipulate it, and reducing adaptive capacity. The problem may also cause heart disorder if left untreated for long.(3)
Children with partial or complete obstruction of the airways during sleep often have disturbed sleep and require more respiratory effort. Usually, parents and child caregivers will notice these symptoms or whether the child snores at night. Further, you may notice that they do not sleep continually, wake up frequently, and have abnormal sleep behavior.
In addition to sleep problems, children may have symptoms such as mouth breathing, nasal congestion, difficulty walking, morning headaches, excessive daytime sleepiness and dozing. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity symptoms, aggressive behaviors, and impulsive behavior may also have poor academic performance because their mood can be significantly affected.(4)
Natural Remedies For Obstructive Sleep Apnea
A Healthy Weight Is Good: Doctors generally recommend that people with Obstructive sleep apnea should lose weight. This is true for your child as well. Obesity, especially in the upper body, may increase the risk of airway congestion and narrow nasal passages. This disability can prevent your child from breathing steadily or for long periods of time while sleeping.
Maintaining a healthy weight can keep the airways clear and reduce the symptoms of Obstructive sleep apnea. Studies suggest that even moderate weight loss in obese people may eliminate the need for upper respiratory surgery or long-term CPAP therapy (use of a machine during sleep to maintain proper air pressure and prevent Obstructive sleep apnea).
In some cases, weight loss can eliminate Obstructive sleep apnea completely. However, if your child gains weight again, the condition may return.
Vitamin D: Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may make patients more susceptible to respiratory infections and may play a role in developing asthma. Vitamin D has been repeatedly shown to have immunomodulatory effects. So, if your child is suffering from vitamin D deficiency, he/she may have Obstructive sleep apnea. The dose must be prescribed by a physician or naturopathic physician, but generally, the maximum tolerable intake for infants and young children is between 1000 IU and 3000 IU depending on age.
Probiotics And Vitamin C: Allergic diseases were strongly associated with bacterial infections in early childhood. Probiotics can be used because they affect the local gut microbiota, which further stimulates the immune response.
Vitamin C has been shown to block the response of inflammatory cytokines in monocytes and lymphocytes of healthy adults, as well as to inhibit histamine secretion by leukocytes. A reduced allergic reaction will improve Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.
Altering Sleep Position And Exercise: Although this is a small change, changing your child’s sleep position can reduce Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms and improve night time rest for your child. In adults, sleeping on the back can make symptoms worse. But children sleep better in this position.
Regular exercise will improve the energy level in the children, strengthen the heart and help eliminate Obstructive sleep apnea. Outdoor sports, active playing, yoga may improve your child’s breathing power and stimulate oxygen flow.(5)(6)(7)
- Rosen CL, Wang R, Taylor HG, et al. Utility of symptoms to predict treatment outcomes in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Pediatrics. 2015;135(3):e662-e671.
- Maris M, Verhulst S, Wojciechowski M, Van de Heyning P, Boudewyns A. Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in children with Down syndrome. Sleep. 2016;39(3):699-704.
- Blechner M, Williamson AA. Consequences of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care. 2016;46(1):19-26.
- Garetz SL, Mitchell RB, Parker PD, et al. Quality of life and obstructive sleep apnea symptoms after pediatric adenotonsillectomy. Pediatrics. 2015;135(2):e477-e486.
- Obstructive sleep apnea in obese community-dwelling children: the NANOS study. Sleep. 2014;37(5):943-949.
- Guilleminault C, Lee JH, Chan A. Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine. 2005;159(8):775-785.
- Kheirandish-Gozal L, Peris E, Gozal D. Vitamin D levels and obstructive sleep apnoea in children. Sleep medicine. 2014;15(4):459-463.
- How Long Will It Take To Recover From Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children & How Long Does The Symptoms Last?
- Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children A Progressive Problem & Alternative Treatments For It?
- What Are The Ways To Prevent Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children & Does It Reoccur?
- What Happens To Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children & When To Go To Doctor?
- Home Remedies For Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children