How is sleep apnea in children different than with adults?

This question was asked in Bellview, Texas on 08/05/2013.
I have sleep apnea and I was wondering if it's possible that my son does too. He is overweight and he snores loudly at night, just like me. Is it even possible for kids to have sleep apnea?

Doctors Answers (4)

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 8/22/2013

Sleep apnea is dangerous for children as well as adults. You should pro actively have your son evaluated by a Board Certified Sleep Specialist. Sleep apnea is familial and although your son is young, untreated sleep apnea could cause health risk for him also.

Timothy J. Delcambre, DDS, MHA
Answered on: 8/6/2013 1

Children can have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. An evaluation by your pediatrician and referral to a sleep center for a sleep evaluation would be best if you are concerned about your child.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 8/6/2013 1

Yes children can have sleep apnea too. Usually it is due to large tonsils and surgery can cure it 99% of the time. If obesity is present in a child, then surgery may not cure the apnea but weight loss combined with surgery mostly likely will. The child should have an evaluation by a Board Certified Sleep Specialist, an over night sleep test, then be seen by an ENT surgeon or an Oral Surgeon if the palate needs expansion.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 8/6/2013 1

Typically secondary to large tonsils and adenoids unless the child is obese or there are craniofacial abnormalities such as in Trisomy 21 and other syndromic genetic conditions. Treatment is typically tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. There is no female/male difference. Children are not typically obese. The best determination of sleep apnea is snoring and not being refreshed in the morning, restless sleep, possibly morning headaches, daytime behavioral difficulties, ADHD type symptoms and bed wetting, especially if they have been previously trained.