Breathing interruptions while falling asleep are not necessarily a sign of sleep apnoea syndrome. Breathing stops may also be caused by changes in the breathing rhythm or by the tongue sinking back when relaxing during the sleep phase. Although these can last throughout the night, they do not have to.
Child’s breathing stops
Sleep apnea is also very common in children. Thus, snoring is a regular occurrence in about 10% of all children, of whom about one in five suffers from sleep apnea. The problem is that the symptoms are often more likely to be overlooked in children than in adults.
There are so many reasons why children are restless, unfocused, etc., that they often do not think about breathing stops. But especially the long-term consequences for children can be enormous due to the early onset of the disease. High blood pressure and other problems typical of adults often only manifest themselves later.
But sleep apnoea syndrome in children is also associated with problems at school and ADHD. So if a child snores a lot and is often restless, unbalanced and tired during the day, the paediatrician should at least consider breathing stops as a cause. The causes are basically the same in children as in adults.
Enlarged tonsils or polyps are particularly common here. If the cause cannot be eliminated surgically, a respiratory mask is also the therapy of choice for children, although it can be difficult to get children to tolerate them at night. In any case, a quick diagnosis and therapy should be carried out if there is a suspicion of respiratory failure, especially in children. Once developmental deficits due to poor sleep and oxygen deficiency have arisen, they cannot be made up for.