Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which your childâ€™s breathing is repeatedly interrupted throughout the sleep.
Basically, there are three types of sleep apnea: one is obstructive sleep apnea due to the blockage, other is central sleep apnea where there is no blockage but the childâ€™s brain is unable to signal the muscles to breathe and the last is mixed sleep apnea that is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Usually, babies are most commonly affected with central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is most common in adults and children above 3 years of age. Down syndrome and other congenital situations make the children more prone to the development of sleep apnea.
Who are at greater risk?
Usually, any baby can develop sleep apnea, but this condition is very common in babies born prematurely. If babies are born up to 37 weeks of gestation period, then the condition is called as apnea of prematurity. If babies are born more than 37 weeks of gestation period, then the condition is called as apnea of infancy [Sleep apnea in obese children].
The more a baby is, the greater the chance to suffer from sleep apnea [Sleep apnea during pregnancy].
What leads to sleep apnea in babies?
Improper development of central nervous system is the main cause of sleep apnea. Some other odds include: birth defect, respiratory diseases, imbalance in body physique, bleeding in brain, high exposure to poisons and drugs, infection, and problems related to heart and blood vessels.
How your baby will suffer from sleep apnea?
Usually, sleep apnea makes your baby unable to breathe. The baby might gag or gasp and finally takes a breath. There is a chance that your baby can turn into blue.
Donâ€™t forget that it is completely normal in infants who are less than 6 months old. Sometimes you will notice that your baby takes breathes faster for a period, then slows down, and then stops for 15 seconds before recommencing normal breathing.
Is there any danger for your baby?
Sometimes apnea can cause death in your baby. Due to the stoppage of breathing, there is a great fall in levels of oxygen and a great rise in carbon dioxide levels. This can lead to great drop in your babyâ€™s heart rate. This condition is called as bradycardia.
If your baby has had more than one life-threatening incident, in which your baby stops breathing, then the baby is more likely to have long term issues or can also die.
How to treat the condition?
The treatment mainly depends on the severity of the disease. Use a monitor and keep record of your babyâ€™s heart rate and breathing patterns. Use the prescribed medications in order to stimulate your babyâ€™s central nervous system.
Consult your doctor as early as possible so that you can easily manage the condition in your baby.