The symptoms of ADHD and sleep apnea are strikingly similar. Are children being wrongly misdiagnosed?
Approximately 11% of children in the USA have been diagnosed with ADHD, but what if it’s not actually ADHD? What if something else entirely was responsible for these kids’ behavior? Something that’s under every parent’s nose?
Sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are common among adults, but did you know they can also affect children? Approximately 2-4% of U.S. children have OSA, and it can take up to 7 years to properly diagnose it in children.
OSA occurs when something partly blocks your child’s airways. Breathing can pause for seconds, or even minutes, before normal breathing starts again with a snort or choking sound. This can happen up to 30 times or more per hour, preventing children from getting the restful sleep they so desperately need.
When a child is sleep deprived, it can lead to problems that can be mistaken for ADHD such as hyperactivity, attention problems, behavioral / mood problems, and decreased school performance.
If a child’s OSA is misdiagnosed as ADHD, it can make matters worse. Not only will the ADHD medication exacerbate their OSA, but lack of sleep can have wide-ranging health and development implications that can damage a child’s development.
But there’s good news. This infographic will explain OSA’s causes, symptoms, telltale signs to look for, how it links to ADHD, how doctors can help, and how one parent found true relief for their child’s sleep apnea.
John Luther, D.D.S. has been providing comprehensive dental care since 2003. He has advanced training in all areas of dentistry, allowing him to offer comprehensive dental care. His extensive experience and love of learning enables him to treat a wide range of dental and dental-related issues like teeth grinding and sleep apnea.