Sleep Apnea  

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February 2, 2004

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Sleep Apnea

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  Links     It is normal for individuals to have brief pauses in their breathing patterns when sleeping, but when breathing stops for 20 seconds or longer, it is called sleep apnea and can contribute to both health and learning problems.

There are several types of apnea, but obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common and is caused by an obstruction of the airway.  Children who have enlarged tonsils or adenoids are at risk for having sleep apnea.  It has been estimated that approximately 1% to 3% of preschool children have this type of apnea.  Behaviors that may indicate sleep apnea are snoring, labored breathing, and gasping while sleeping.  Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, and when observed in children, parents should discuss this with their child's physician.

It has been suggested that some children who snore are at risk for having learning problems.

The symptoms of sleep apnea in children are described at this informative web site in - 'Apnea and Your Child'. 

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