“As you can tell he’s a really outgoing, fun-loving boy,” says Lynne Einbinder as she describes her 10 year old son, William.
But something changed. And William suddenly became…restless.
“I would wake up and go ‘I don’t want to go to school, I’m too tired,” William recalls.
“He would come home from school, he was tired, he was lethargic, he would sometimes take a nap, he lost interest in some of the things that he normally did,” says his mom.
An overnight sleep study revealed something his parents never imagined. Not in their wildest dreams.
“After they analyzed the test, I guess they found evidence that he was stopping breathing.”
It’s the scariest aspect of sleep apnea. In the most common form- obstructive apnea, the airway gets blocked or closes and disrupts breathing. In children the affects can also be felt in the daytime.
“Short-term effects, immediate effects of an untreated sleep apnea could be concentration issues. A long-term effect could be learning issues,” says Lee Memorial Health System sleep specialist Dr. Jose Colon.
The cumulative burden on the body from a lack of oxygen may carry staggering consequences. Studies find if not treated children may face higher risk of high blood pressure, heart problems, inflammatory issues, depression and obesity.
After considering the options, William’s family went with a CPAP mask- which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
“It takes that air around us and it generates a pressure that then goes through the mask and it opens up your airway,” explains Dr. Colon.
Wearing the mask to sleep doesn’t bother William a bit…he’s now back in full form.
“Some people think that it sounds like Darth Vader”
That’s when the Einbinders knew their son was okay.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.