Children are also affected

THE ESSENTIAL

  • Statistically, sleep apnea affects more men than women.
  • 16% of type 2 diabetics suffer from sleep apnea.

According to this, at least 30% of people over the age of 65 are affected by sleep apneaNational Institute for Health and Medical Research (Entry). It is often adults that we think of when we talk about this syndrome. And yet sometimes children would be more concerned: “at least one in twenty children‘, estimated Madiha Ellaffi, pneumo-allergist, during a webinar held on the occasion of the 22nd National Sleep Day, March 18th.

cardiovascular complications

Sleep apnea is a syndrome characterized by repeated and uncontrolled pauses in breathing during sleep. Generally, patients experience micro-awakenings during the night, without being aware of them, that disrupt their sleep and impact their daily lives: out of Drowsiness during the day, difficulty concentrating or remembering. Some also have cardiovascular complications such as high blood pressure.

Sleep apnea affects more children than you think

One child in twenty has a 100 times higher proportion than so-called rare diseases, which means that this problem ends up being quite widespread in the young population. “I often hear it said: “Hey, he snores like his grandfather”… No, a snoring child is not normal, ensures Patricia Franco, head of the pediatric sleep department at the Woman Mother Child Hospital (HFME) in Bron near Lyon. If the child snores long and hard every night, you must think about sleep apnea (…) this message does not go far enough in families.”

“The micro-awakening (…) will change the psychomotor development of the child”

Sleep apnea can have serious consequences in children and adolescents. In fact, disrupting the nights can lead to chronic fatigue, hyperactivity, lack of attention at school, etc. “During REM sleep (dream) we record the day’s learning, developed André StagnaraRehabilitation manager at La Maisonnée, a pediatric aftercare facility in Francheville (Rhône). The micro-awakening associated with low oxygenation will alter the child’s psychomotor development (…) We cannot imagine the lost potential.”

2% of children affected by sleep apnea

According to Inserm, sleep apnea affects almost 2% of children between the ages of two and six. In most cases, this respiratory problem is associated with the presence of large tonsils and adenoids. Often, removing them is enough for sleep apnea to stop. To diagnose this syndrome, sleep recording should be done in a specialized center or at home.

Obesity, a risk factor

Obesity appears to significantly increase the risk of sleep apnea in children and adolescents., believes Inserm. Often, therefore, in parallel with treatment, doctors recommend that patients – both adults and young people – lead an active lifestyle that allows them to reduce or limit weight gain and, ultimatelyCombat sleep apnea.

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