Two Types of Sleep Disordered Breathing
Another common misconception about sleep-disordered breathing and pediatric sleep apnea is that it’s all to do with your throat. Yet, most of us breathe through our noses throughout the day and night. If a blockage occurs in your child’s nose, they’ll still experience fragmented breathing and sleep. The good thing about nasal blockages is that they are easy for parents to spot.
Throat sleep-disordered breathing occurs because there is a blockage. But why? And what? Those questions are less easily answered, but usually, the problem has to do with a recessed chin. The tongue connects to the bottom of the airway. If the chin is positioned too far back, the tongue takes up the space air is supposed to flow through.
One reason this happens is too much baby food between the ages of 0 and 5. The tongue and jaw need exercise to grow to healthy proportions. Feeding your child baby food for too long makes the job of chewing and swallowing almost non-existent for your child. Chewing and swallowing real food gives your child’s tongue and jaw the resistance they need to grow and develop healthily.
Likewise, Nasal sleep-disordered breathing is a blockage in your child’s nasal passages. Something like this can start simply as a habit of mouth breathing. You probably haven’t thought about it, but your tongue puts outward pressure on your palate (roof of your mouth) as it sits on the roof of your mouth while the cheeks and jaw apply inward pressure. These pressures help your child’s paleate form correctly. When your child is mouth breathing, nothing stops the inward pressure from their cheeks and jaw.
The result is their palate bends upward and makes their nasal passages smaller. Bottles and pacifiers exacerbate this problem because as they suck, it puts more pressure on their palate, closing off the nasal passages even more.
Narrow nasal passages require your child to continue breathing through their mouth, which parents readily notice. Of course, a stuffy nose doesn’t mean sleep-disordered breathing. But if your child is always mouth breathing, there is a chance of obstruction in their nasal passages.