Health Alarm: Children Snoring In Sleep Wake-Up-Call For Parents

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Sreerupa Patranobis, Kolkata: Sleep disorder among the children is an emerging problem of educated and well off families in developed nation. Clinicians are worried with reports of more and more kids snoring during their “sweet sleep”, indicating that the danger is slowing scaling up. Some clinicians opined that the situation is slowly spiralling out of control as confounding symptoms leave clinicians confused thus lading to misdiagnosis.

Awareness about the necessity for sleep screening is being advocated by Dr. Naga Sirikonda of Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon in the midwestern state of Illinois in the United States. Dr. Sirikonda is a pulmonologist and critical care physician, who are often vested in screening for sleep disorders.

On behalf of Kolkata 24X7, Ms. Sreerupa Patranobis interviewed Dr. Naga Sirikonda about the emerging menace among children of developed countries and advanced cities.

1. What is confounding clinicians who have noted increased number of children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

The clinical diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children have increased dramatically in recent years, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. However, potential confounding diagnosis can arise from actual physical problems of the children, especially in relation to being overweight or obese, and suffering from OSA or obstructive sleep apnea.

2. Why there confusion among clinicians?

Confusion arises when a hyperactive child is encountered in the clinic, provided with a psychiatric diagnosis, whereas, the actual problem resulted from the child’s airway being obstructed during sleep, resulting in “apnea’, denoting short periods of time when the child does not breathe.

3. What is the difference with adults compared to children with relation to OSA?

Unlike adults who get sluggish from a lack of sleeplessness and tend to coy up in the bed, kids tend to overcompensate and become hyperactive and run around in relation to lack of sleep, potentially resulting in the misrepresentation of hyperactivity. Compounding the scenario are the medications used to treat ADHD, which enhances the cycle of sleeplessness.

4. Why is awareness about sleep screening is needed among the parent?

The parents of young kids may find an episode of snoring to be a “cute” event, whereas this merit detailed clinical evaluation. Awareness about the necessity for sleep screening is being advocated by me. The will timely prevent future danger for those suffering children.

5. Why is that cases of “snoring” among children?

With increasing pressure of performance in schools, even at the preparatory and kindergarten levels, and enhanced affinity for videogames or Viber, the outdoorsy activities of young kids are being severely affected. Lack of sleep is an impediment to not only performance of routine activities, but also impacts long term personality development of young kids.

6. So, finally what should be done to screen cases of “snoring” among children?

Getting sleep studies done in young children with complaints of misconduct at school are important. Children with disordered breathing should be screened for enlarged tonsils. Also, the relevance of going out and playing in the evening cannot be overemphasized, irrespective of the “load’ of homework.

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