The signs are everywhere if you know what to look for.
The creases and sleep lines may be faint, but if you or someone else you know uses a sleep apnea treatment device when you go to bed at night you are likely aware of the slanted line that crosses the cheeks of those who use the same device. And as the number of people who are diagnosed with sleep apnea increases, it should come as no surprise that a growing number of young children also suffer from breathing difficulties that can lead to snoring. When you factor in the number of children who have airway reconstruction procedures you begin to understand the extent of the current ear, nose, and throat treatments that are most commonly used.
Think back to when you were a child. If you are over the age of 50, you can probably remember getting your tonsils out, or knowing someone who got his or her tonsils out. As recently as 30 years ago, in fact, approximately 90% of tonsillectomies in children were done for recurrent infection. With the advancement of better antibiotic treatment for these conditions, however, now only about 20% of tonsillectomies are performed to alleviate recurring infections. Instead, 80% of today’s tonsillectomies are performed for the purposes of addressing obstructive sleep problems (OSA).
And while it is not uncommon for some children to snore, sometimes airway reconstruction is needed so that future problems can be avoided. Consider some of these other statistics that often involve ear, nose, and throat doctors:
- 83% of children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday.
- 10% of children snore regularly. In addition, 2% to 4 % of the pediatric population has Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
- Hypernasal speech treatment can be part a care plan for patients who suffer from ear, nose, and throat problems.
- Recurring sinus infections can lead to other problems that may be addressed by ENT doctors.
- 300,000 to 400,000 tonsillectomies are performed every year in children and adolescents, according to the most recent government numbers.
- 12% of children in the general population have the fairly common problem of snoring. Additionally, 1% to 3% of children exhibit not only snoring, but Sleep Disordered Breathing as well.