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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, March 23, 2000

GED Testing planned

GED Testing will be held from 5-9 p.m., Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5.

Registration is scheduled from 1-5 p.m., Monday, April 3, at 320 S. Oak Street, Suite 4.

For more information call 445-5535.

Sleep apnea in children is treatable

For many children, snoring can be more than a noisy nuisance.

"Unfortunately, we don't have as good of an idea about snoring in children as we do in adults," said Dr. Max Hirshkowitz. "We do know, however, that it can run the range from being relatively minor to being a symptom of sleep apnea."

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious life-threatening condition that can trigger various abnormalities or developmental delay. It occurs when enlarged adenoid glands or tonsils block the upper airway passages during sleep, making it difficult for the child to breathe.

Not every child who snores, however, is showing signs of sleep apnea. In adults, only 20-30 percent of those who snore suffer.

In general, snoring occurs when the floppy tissue in the airway relaxes and begins to vibrate. Many times the noise is caused by an enlarged soft palate and uvula, the lobe hanging from the back of the roof of the mouth.

"Anything that limits the size of the airway, such as breathing through the mouth, sedating medications or chronic inflammation of the nose can increase snoring," Hirshkowitz said.

He does warn, however, that even "simple" snoring carries some risks. The constant vibration can beat down throat tissue, leading to infection. The multiple sleep disturbances can also keep a child from achieving a truly restful state.

"At school, these children will often wiggle around in their seats or doodle, all very subtle signs of sleepiness,' Hirshkowitz said. "They become wound up, are unable to control their fidgeting and eventually stop paying attention."

Snoring can affect more than a child's ability to make the grade at school. Many also suffer from weight problems, morning headaches and frequent bed wetting.

Although parents might try to tune out their child's earsplitting habit, Hirshkowitz recommends getting a professional evaluation as soon as possible. A check-up can help diagnose any serious conditions.

"Many of the adults we treat for sleep apnea have symptoms that can be traced back to childhood," Hirshkowitz said. "Sleep problems can have a huge effect on schoolwork and parents should not wait until the ill effects surface in the classroom."

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise