Know its symptoms! The only way to detect it before it is too late is by knowing its symptoms and observing your children when they sleep.
Not many parents are familiar with this health problem, which is usually discovered when symptoms appear and are most obvious (sometimes it may be too late).
Mia’s parents believe that the diagnosis so early in their daughter’s case, and the treatments she has received, have prevented her from dying (in these cases, without discovering the disease, the chances of death are 50%), and thanks to these, she is now 9 years old. However, she still continues her fight.
How our children breathe while they sleep
In Mía’s case, her father, Adam Amdur comments that he and his wife began to notice that their daughter stopped breathing while she slept. They could only tell by noticing the irregularity of their breaths.
“She didn’t fit the Sleep Apnea diagnosis,” explains her father. “It’s thin, and n = it just doesn’t fit,” she added in an interview with the Daily Mail.
However, his symptoms were all too familiar, both to him and his wife Justine.
He stopped breathing 27 times in one night
Her parents decided to take Mía to the Standford Center, so they could observe Mia while she slept.
Mia was only two years old at the time, and over the course of the study, the little girl stopped breathing, meaning she did not breathe in again for several seconds, on 27 different occasions.
“If it had been a couple of times when she stopped breathing, the doctors would not have worried, but 27 times, it was serious.”
Today, Mia must sleep with a machine that helps her breathe and makes sure that she continues to breathe while she sleeps. Since her illness was discovered, her tonsils have been removed and she has undergone several surgeries that help her breathe better.
If her parents hadn’t noticed how Mia breathed in her sleep, maybe she wouldn’t be with them anymore.
Sleep Apnea: Symptoms Every Parent Should Know That You Only See While They Sleep
“Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which the sufferer takes one or more pauses in breathing or has shallow breaths during sleep,” explains the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Pauses can be anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.
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They often occur 30 times or more per hour. “Generally, breathing returns to normal, sometimes with a loud snoring or a sound similar to what a person makes when they choke,” he adds.
If no one watches us sleep, we can’t tell
The same institute points out that in most cases this disease remains undiagnosed since doctors cannot observe the symptoms in a simple consultation, nor is it reflected in a blood test.
The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Apnea. This usually occurs in people with long faces. In these types of cases, people suffer an obstruction in the airway when the muscles relax when sleeping and the air cannot pass.
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On the other hand, there is a less common type of this disease that is associated with the sending of erroneous signals by the part of the brain responsible for “warning” the muscles that interfere with breathing. Therefore, these muscles do not respond as they should.
What are the risk factors for your children or someone in your family to suffer from this condition
According to Kids Health, these are some of the risk factors:
Family history of this disease
Overweight in children
Some mental conditions like Down syndrome and cerebral palsy
Defects in the formation of the mouth, jaw or throat
A neck too big
Too big a tongue
If sleep apnea has not been diagnosed and the affected person is not being treated, some of the risks that the person or the child runs for their health are:
Increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.
It increases the risk of heart failure or that it worsens if you already have this complication.
Risks of cardiac arrhythmias.
Some signs that your child may be affected by sleep apnea
The children who may be suffering from this disease may experience some or all of these symptoms:
Loud snoring regularly
He suffers from pauses, sighs for air, and you notice that he stops breathing for an abnormal time.
He constantly changes position while sleeping and puts his head in strange positions, like looking for the best way to breathe.
If you suspect that your child may be affected by this extremely silent disease, it is time for you to consult with your pediatrician.
Number of normal breaths per minute in children according to their age