Sleep Disordered Breathing
Linked to Behavior and Cognition Problems in Children

Common questions parents ask about their child who has large tonsils and adenoids.

What is that noise?

Nobody could sleep on vacation because of the snoring!

Is he breathing?

Many reports have linked sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) , which is characterized by labored breathing during sleep and loud, regular snoring, to behavior problems and poor academic performance in children. 20 to 30% of children with loud snoring or apnea may have clinically significant hyperactivity and inattention.

  • A study by Urschitz et al. in Pediatrics 2004, indicated statistical significance between snoring and hyperactive behavior, concentration deficits, daytime tiredness, and falling asleep in school.

  • Rosen et al, from University Hospitals in Cleveland, noted that children with SDB had twice the odds of having total problem scores on the Child Behavior Checklist than children without SDB.

  • Montgomery et al. in European Respiratory Journal 2005, showed that SDB is associated with substantial cognitive morbidity in preschool children and that treatment with tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (T&A) leads to reversal of impairment.

Dr. Mark Wladecki, at ENT Group of Cleveland, adds that other problems such as swallowing difficulties, poor growth or small for age children, frequently waking up at night, and bedwetting , are also common problems associated with large tonsils. He suggest a simple evaluation in the office, or parents checking a website for more information.

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