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How Do I Know If My Child Has Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Can A Child Outgrow It?

Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA refers to a problem, which affects the breathing of your child when he/she sleeps. An obstruction refers to an airflow blockage within the lungs. Apnea indicates a pause in breathing for a minimum of 10seconds. An adult or a child with the problem of obstructive sleep apnea have times at the time of sleep when air fails to flow normally within the lungs.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

How Do I Know If My Child Has Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

  • You may find many clues, which may indicate that your child is suffering from the problem of obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Snoring, which may sometimes become loud or it may go and come during the night
  • Choking sounds or gasping and noisy breathing, which may sometimes become worse when your kid lies or sits on his/her back.
  • Your child may suffer from breathing pauses problem, according to which, your child stops breathing for a while. However, later on, his/her breathing starts but by a snort.
  • Affected children often face difficulty to take a breath from their nose and hence, they are forced to keep their mouth open. This type of problem mainly takes place during the morning or daytime.
  • Turning and tossing in a restless way combined with the problem of unusual sleeping positions.
  • An obstructive sleep apnea affected kid may experience frequent awakenings during the nighttime.(1)

Other Ways To Identify The Problem Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Your Child

Poor sleep during the nighttime may cause many difficulties in children during the daytime. Thus, you may also identify whether your kid is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea based on common problems that take place during the daytime.

  • Hyperactivity and related behavior problems
  • Problems in attention followed by poor academic performance
  • Cranky, moody and irritable, along with other personality-related changes
  • Napping during unusual hours or falling asleep during school hours
  • The extreme level of tiredness and fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Speaking in a nasal sounding voice(1)

Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Symptoms associated with Obstructive sleep apnea may vary among children. However, in most cases, kids experience following symptoms-

  • Noisy breathing or loud snoring during sleep
  • Periods involving without breathing, according to which no oxygen moves from the mouth and nose within the lungs. However, the duration of such periods is variable and you may measure them in seconds.
  • Mouth breathing, in which the nasal passages becomes blocked completely because of enlarged adenoids and tonsils.
  • Speaking words with a blocked nasal passage or nasal voice
  • Restlessness and sometimes, combined with awakening periods during sleep
  • Excessive form of irritability or daytime sleepiness because of poor quality sleep
  • Hyperactivity during the entire day

Can A Child Outgrow Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep disorder or obstructive sleep apnea problem is common in most of the children. Mouth breathing, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea often indicate parents to look for immediate medical attention for your kids. According to the estimation, the prevalence of snoring and other related sleep apnea problem in children is between 3 percent and 12 percent, while obstructive sleep apnea affects approximately 1percent and 10percent. However, the positive thing is that most of the children experience mild symptoms and they often outgrow their conditions.(2)


To conclude, we should say that parents have to observe their children closely, especially the nighttime symptoms to identify the problem of obstructive sleep apnea as early as possible. On the other side, if we talk about the cure or outgrow of Obstructive sleep apnea, we should say that in most of the cases, the problem of obstructive sleep apnea outgrows in children automatically. However, a few children need to undergo proper treatment to get a complete cure.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 12, 2023

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