No fancy titles today folks, just something for you to think about next time you see a child who is breathing through their mouth and had large dark circles under their eyes. These days it seems that many more children are experiencing what is called SDB (Sleep Disordered Breathing). The reasons for this are quite varied, but in many cases it boils down to the fact that allergies are more common along with increases in obesity as well. When a child has allergies or is overweight, they are much more prone to snore. The research now shows that a child who snores will have an 80% chance of losing 20% of their mental capacity, and this is a permanent manifestation with no way to correct. Additionally, is a child having a diagnosis of SDB, they are 60% more likely to require special needs education by the age of 8. These are some very scary statistics, dear readers!
Has anyone noticed that there are many more children these days taking ADD/ADHD meds? Well, of course, these kids are not sleeping well and their bodies are failing early in life! Their nasal passages are often being ignored by the ENT and pediatrician in the early years. It is absolutely critical that the young child breathe better in the early years, otherwise they will pay dearly later on in life. As a parent of one of these children, I can directly relate to this. One of my children was truly failing to thrive in school. He slept poorly and was always tired the next day. His grades were simply awful. The teachers suggested medication to calm his mind during the day. I suggested they all take a hike and pound sand.
Our x-rays conclusively showed the nasal septum to be quite deviated. I decided to make ALF appliances. Within a few months my son began to not only sleep better, but he simply ’became’ better in general. Better grades, he looked better, he became more communicative. He is now in college and doing just great! I feel totally blessed for all the years of training I have had in the field of sleep medicine and dentistry. All the time spent away from my family has not only allowed me to help my own family, but now I help others as well. Every day in my office I see both adults and children who can now sleep better and function better- it is really rewarding!
The only problem that I have is that so few people know about our work. We are trying to ‘get the word out there’ but it is a daunting task. Very few MD’s really understand what is happening in my office every day. They have never heard of the ALF appliance or what it can do. When I try to explain how it takes a high palate and brings it down, most of the time they say only surgery can do this. (Bringing down a high palate allows for better nasal breathing which is critical to good health) When I show various doctors the x-rays of how my patients end up with less deviation to the nasal septum, they again say that it cannot be done. Well folks, it can, and it is done! The amazing ALF does all that and more. But as with anything good, it takes time and patience.
My plan is to keep plugging along- one patient at a time and one blog every week- to make changes in how health care is done in our country. I would like people to be aware that we can most certainly help SDB problems with a relatively simple device. Ask me in 20 or so years if I feel like I made a difference. Thank you.