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Can you Breathe / Sleep?

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Most people have heard of sleep apnea, which is the cessation of breathing while you are asleep. We usually picture an overweight, middle-aged man who smokes. Like most problems, there is no single body type that is affected. There are people of all body types, and women as well as men, who suffer from sleep apnea. We are now realizing that children can also be affected with breathing problems.

Sleep apnea occurs in 3% of the normal childhood population, and there are many symptoms, such as snoring, tiredness, mouth-breathing, and poor performance in school.

A true diagnosis can only be made with a visit to a sleep specialist. The first doctor you should see is an ENT because most sleep issues are caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Your ENT may recommend that your child have their tonsils and adenoids removed.

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Another common approach to treatment is to expand the upper jaw, which widens a child’s airway. This is something that your orthodontist can do, and it is one of the most conservative treatments to help with airway problems.

If you are an adult with sleep issues, again, your ENT is the first doctor that you should see. He or she can refer you to a sleep specialist for the necessary tests. Treatment can involve using a C-PAP machine, which aids in breathing, or an oral device, which can help open your airway while you are sleeping.

Sleep issues are not something you should ignore as they can affect your performance and health, not just at night but all day long.

King & McCune Orthodontics

  • King & McCune Orthodontics - 3401 Northside Pkwy. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30327 Phone: (404) 233-1972

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