Does sleep apnea adversely affect your height?


Does sleep apnea adversely affect your height?

Have you ever heard of sleep apnea before?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that occurs when breathing temporarily stops during sleep, causing hypoxia. Those who are experiencing sleep apnea often wake during their sleep due to the lack of oxygen. Although they may get sufficient amount of sleep, they remain restless due to their sleep being fragmented and of poor quality. 

Contributing risk factors for sleep apnea can be due to various types of illnesses amongst adults such as obesity, brain disorders, heart disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. A recent study by a Korean medical team states that sleep apnea adversely affects the growth of height for children.

Dr. Kim, a professor of Otolaryngology and his team in Ajou Univerysity Hospital located in Korea conducted research on the data of 745 children who participated in a polysomnography. The children’s height, weight and body mass index (BMI) was cross examined to determine the relationship between child sleep apnea and growth.

As a result, higher the AHI (Apnea and Hypopnea Index) and RDI (Respiratory Disorder Index) index, and lower the mean and medium oxygen concentrations, the child’s height was shorter than the rest of their peers. The conclusion portrays that sleep apnea results in hypoxia and sleeping while awake, which directly interferes with a child ability to grow.

Sleep apnea is commonly found in about 5% of children and can cause many complications such as poor grades, change in behavior, change in facial shape and also attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dr. Kim states, early treatment of sleep apnea amongst children is highly recommended, it promotes better growth and healthier children overall.

However, many parents speculate that sleep apnea is not a serious problem. Hence, it is important for parents to proactively check and help prevent these complications for their children in advance.

Many dentists these days are able to help identify sleep apnea thanks to their dental CBCT device, which locates and measures the width of the patient’s airway. This image greatly assists in properly diagnosing for sleep apnea.

If you have trouble sleeping, kill two birds with one stone by checking for sleep apnea while treating your tooth decay!



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