Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that 5.9 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is considered one of the most common childhood disorders.
That being said, Dr. Lana B. Patitucci of the Pennsylvania Snoring & Sleep Institute suggests in a recent Philly.com article that there’s a chance that some children who have been diagnosed with ADHD may actually have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
“Children with sleep apnea may complain of being tired during the day and, at the same time, exhibit hyperactive behavior or act impulsively,” writes Dr. Patitucci. “Herein lays the confusion of separating sleep apnea from ADHD because many of the classic symptoms of ADHD are often exhibited in children with OSA.”
So, how can you tell if your child may have OSA?
Dr. Patitucci recommends keeping an eye out for the following signs:
- Your child appears irritable throughout the day or has difficulty focusing
- Your child breathes heavily through his or her mouth
- Your child is restless throughout the night
- Your child snores
- Your child stops breathing during sleep
- Your child wets the bed frequently
As we’ve reported previously on this blog, up to 4% of children have sleep apnea. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, be sure to check for signs of OSA so you can work toward getting your child the treatment he or she may need.