Alaska Sleep Education Center

Treating OSA in Kids Improves Behavior and Quality of Life.

Posted by Guest blogger: Denise Mann, Web MD on Oct 11, 2018 7:30:00 PM

Kids with obstructive sleep apnea are often tired by day, have trouble paying attention, and have other behavioral problems all because they are not getting enough quality sleep at night. A new study may help turn that around -- without surgery.

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Topics: Pediatrics, life with sleep apnea, OSA, OSA in children

What Every Parent Should Know About a Tonsillectomy

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Sep 18, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Tonsils are one of the most misunderstood structures in the throat, not only by patients, but by many doctors as well. Traditional teaching states that tonsils are glands in the throat that help to fight infection. Because they are blamed for most cases of repeated throat infections, tonsillectomy is one of the most commonly performed operations in the United States. According to some pediatricians, many tonsillectomies today are being performed unnecessarily. Simultaneously, there are too many tonsils still left in place when in fact they should be removed. Here’s the reason why.

 

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Topics: OSA in children, tonsils

Sleep Apnea in Children, Part 1: ADHD vs OSA

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Jul 30, 2018 12:03:00 PM

As humans, there is always a tendency to make mistakes. Doctors can make mistakes when a parent cannot figure out why their child is hyper, inattentive, moody, or impulsive. They act out without a moment’s notice in school and home. For the most part, the diagnoses gravitates towards an ADHD diagnosis. But for children, the symptoms of ADHD and sleep apnea are parallel if you are not asking the right questions.

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Topics: adhd, medication, OSA in children, sleep and children

Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea: Pros and Cons of Dental Devices

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jun 26, 2018 6:09:00 PM

Although continuous positive airway (CPAP) pressure therapy is the most recommended treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), not all patients are able to remain compliant with this form of treatment. Some complain of claustrophobia, dry nasal passages, skin irritation from masks, difficulty tolerating pressurized air, and accidentally removing the mask while tossing at night.

For patients like these, an alternative to CPAP therapy may be recommended, and depending on the level of severity of their disorder, may benefit from a substitute treatment such as an oral dental appliance.

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Topics: therapies, dental, OSA, OSA in children

Asthma and Sleep Apnea : Hand-in-Hand?

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jun 22, 2018 9:02:00 AM

  Researchers are puzzled as to why there seems to be a significant rise on rates of asthma in children compared to previous years. A study released from the CDC reported that nearly one in 10 children and one in 12 Americans have asthma. From 2001 to 2009, the overall rate of asthma increased 12.3%. In 2013, it cost $57 billion to care for asthma patients.

 Despite lower rates of smoking and second-hand smoke, the prevalence of asthma increased in all demographic groups, including men, women, whites, blacks, and Hispanics. Possible reasons for this sudden increase include various allergens, traffic fumes, pesticides, certain plastics, diet and obesity.

  Here’s one more possibility: Obstructive sleep apnea. We know that children are more overweight than ever, and along with this it’s expected that sleep apnea will increase as well. Multiple breathing pauses at night can literally suction up your stomach juices into your throat, which can then reach your nose or your lungs. This causes your nose and your lungs to become inflamed and overreactive to allergies, fumes, and even weather changes.

  Lack of deep sleep also causes your nervous system and your immune system to become hypersensitive, aggravating this vicious cycle.

Notice how it’s not just asthma rates that are going up. Many of the other childhood related conditions are going up as well: obesity, ADHD, autism, allergies, etc. These are all part of the same continuum that unfortunately, are treated as independent conditions. With multiple breathing pauses at night, any of these conditions can occur or aggravate an already existing condition.

  Having an asthma attack in the middle of the night can be a frightening and terrifying experience. Typically, these attacks happen in the early morning hours, just before awakening. 

  Now there’s research showing that poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy can increase a woman’s chances of developing preeclampsia (50%) and premature births (25%). Furthermore, infants born to mothers with poorly controlled asthma delivered babies that were about 0.2 pounds less than those born to mothers without asthma.

  We typically think of asthma being a separate, distinct condition from obstructive sleep apnea, and it’s treated in completely different ways. However, it’s not just coincidence that nocturnal awakenings from asthma and the most intense periods of apnea occur at the same time in the middle of the night—the early morning hours.

  The early morning hours are when REM sleep is most prominent, and this is the time when throat muscles are most relaxed. Having an apnea also is known to cause reflex, which is known to reach the throat as well as the nose and the lungs. In one small study in people with sleep apnea and asthma, treating sleep apnea with CPAP significantly improved nocturnal asthma symptoms. 

  We know that any degree of stress on the mother’s body can lead to a higher rate of pregnancy-related complications and low birth rates. Even snoring by the mother alone was found to result in lower Apgar scores in newborn infants. Apneas are also known to raise blood pressure and promote insulin resistance. Stress hormones are also known to increase when you have apneas.

  In light of all these findings, it’s not surprising that pregnant women with poorly controlled asthma have higher complications rates. This is another great example of “connecting the dots” between two seemingly unrelated conditions, which only adds to support my sleep-breathing paradigm.

At The Alaska Sleep Clinic, we provide consultation and therapeutic management for a wide variety of pediatric sleep disorders. We understand that your child's health is important to you and we want to assure you that our Board Certified Sleep Physicians are highly adept at treating child sleep disorders.  Click the link below for a free 10 minute phone consultation.

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Topics: asthma, Pediatrics, allergies, OSA in children

How to Tell if Your Child's Snoring is Normal or a Sleep Disorder

Posted by Kevin Phillips on Jul 10, 2014 2:50:00 PM


Children are our most precious resources, and their health and comfort are a top priority for any parent. It comes as no surprise that you may have questions about your child's snoring and sleep habits. Is their snoring normal? Is it harmful? At what point does it become a cause for concern? At The Alaska Sleep Clinic we get asked these kinds of questions all the time, so we compiled a list of the most common causes of snoring, symptoms of potential sleep disorders, and treatment options for your children.
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Topics: children, Snoring, OSA in children

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