ADHD and sleep-disordered breathing

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One of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in children is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a condition that varies widely in kids. Over 6 million children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD. There are three types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. The condition can also vary from mild to severe and can affect adults as well.

There are many technical criteria that have to be present in the child to reach a diagnosis of ADHD. However, many of these criteria are behaviors also associated with sleep-disordered breathing. Many children diagnosed with ADHD have been found to have sleep-disordered breathing problems, which actually become worse when medications usually prescribed for ADHD are used.

Both ADHD and sleep-disordered breathing are real conditions, and both are very serious. Since the symptoms are so similar, it is important to determine which condition is causing these symptoms. A simple sleep test, done either at home or in a sleep lab, can determine if the symptoms are from sleep-disordered breathing. And if sleep-disordered breathing is the cause of these symptoms, the treatment protocol is entirely different from the treatment protocol for ADHD.

In the case of sleep-disordered breathing, the cause may be as simple as large tonsils and/or adenoids. Removal might be the only treatment needed. An appointment with a qualified, experienced sleep physician and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician might be a place to start if the sleep study is positive for sleep-disordered breathing.

Remember: both conditions are very serious and need treatment.

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Dr. Donald Johnson founded Northwest Treatment Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Coeur d’Alene to help patients stop their snoring and live free with no limits! His office is at 114 W. Neider Ave., near Costco. The website for more information is www.HeartfeltHeadacheRelief.com and the office phone is (208) 667-4551. Schedule an appointment today!

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