Misdiagnosis is Extremely Common
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a growing condition that affects over 11,000,000 American adults as it relates to a person’s hyperactivity, inattentiveness, or impulsivity. One common issue associated with ADHD, however, is that it’s often misdiagnosed and is likely to be a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, instead.
ADHD is a condition where many feel fatigued during the day and have difficulties falling asleep at night. Sleep apnea is similar in that many feel tired and irritable throughout the day and sleepless during the night. The relationship between the two can cause confusion, especially when patients aren’t noticing any improvements after receiving medical treatment for their ADHD.
Dr. Greenman recommends patients with ADHD receive a sleep study if they don’t notice any change in their daytime energy.
Signs ADHD May Actually Be Sleep Apnea
There are various indicators that someone may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and it’s important to detect the corresponding symptoms of ADHD with sleep apnea in order to receive proper treatment.
General symptoms of ADHD include:
- Lack of focus
- Easily distracted
- Non-energetic during the day
- Impaired social skills
Sleep apnea has overlapping symptoms with ADHD which is why it’s often untreated. These similar indications between the two include irritability, lack of daytime energy, forgetfulness, and insomnia.
Children with ADHD
One crucial fact to know about ADHD is that nearly two-thirds or more of children have it and is a continuing issue as they grow into there adolescence because of its misdiagnosis. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that as much as 25 percent of children with ADHD actually have sleep apnea. Discovering the differences between ADHD and sleep apnea in your child is essential for their health and wellbeing.
Distinctive OSA symptoms found in children who have been diagnosed with ADHD include:
- Night Sweats
- Poor attention span
- Behavioral and academic issues at school
If you have noticed any of these symptoms in your child who has ADHD, it may be time to seek a sleep study from a sleep pediatrician to ensure you are providing your young one with the care they need.
The Importance of a Sleep Study
Understanding that sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed in both children and adults is important when it comes to treatment. Treating one condition is completely different from the other. Sleep specialists are certified to address yours or your child’s issues when it comes to sleep difficulties at night.
A sleep study is the best method of discovering sleep apnea, especially for those who have been treated for ADHD but still are seeing complications during their daily life routines. Dr. Greenman can recommend a sleep physician for you or your kid, especially if he is able to notice signs himself during one of your exams.
Once officially diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can recommend and offer various treatment options to relieve your condition. Contact our Westlake Village dental office today if you have any further questions about sleep apnea or if you want to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are common sleep apnea symptoms?
The main indication of sleep apnea is repeatedly gasping for air throughout the night. Additional symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Heavy or loud snoring
- Waking up with a sore or dry throat
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Reduced libido
- Lack of energy or motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood changes, like depression or irritability
- Nighttime sweating
If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, it’s likely you may suffer from sleep apnea. Taking a sleep study is the only way to receive a proper diagnosis for your condition.
Is a sleep study necessary?
Yes! Patients who suffer from ADHD often feel tired and unfocused throughout the day — but did you know these are also symptoms of sleep apnea? Since they share several symptoms, sleep apnea is frequently misdiagnosed as ADHD.
It’s not always easy to isolate which condition is affecting you, but the best way is to take a sleep test. By reviewing the results with a qualified sleep doctor, you can make sure you get an accurate diagnosis for your symptoms.