Saturday, 10 September 2011

Choosing A Baby Sleep Apnea Monitor

By Owen Jones

People connect sleep apnea with overweight adults, mostly males, and this profile does match most sufferers, but in fact everybody stops breathing at some time whilst they are sleeping. Not each night as with sufferers of sleep apnea, but every now and again.

Even babies may stop breathing sometimes. This can be a terrifying experience for parents and carers. If you are worried about your baby suffering from apnea, you could get one of the baby sleep apnea monitors.

There are three types of apnea, which means 'without wind' and derives from Greek: central, obstructive and mixed or complex apnea. Obstructive apnea is by far the most common form and it is also the reason why babies get apnea the majority of the time as well.

Although a small amount of apnea sometimes is fairly normal, constant apnea could be a sign that something is wrong medically. Two of the causes in babies could be enlarged adenoids or tonsils, which could have significant consequences.

It is difficult to tell what is going on with babies at the best of times, but when a baby is suffering from apnea, you may become aware of snoring, gasping, colouration and restlessness.

Obstructive apnea usually just occurs during sleep when muscles are relaxed, however, central apnea can occur at any time of the day or night. Central apnea is caused by a section of the brain that controls breathing not working properly. This sort of apnea is more common in premature babies.

Mixed or complex apnea is a blend of the other two kinds and is also fairly common in children.

Your doctor, the nurse or the midwife will check for apnea and might suggest that you get one of the various baby sleep apnea monitors. One of the problems with these baby monitors is that none of them is completely reliable to detect the cessation of breathing. Therefore, the better baby monitors will include a heart beat detector as a back-up.

The monitor should also be able to sound an alarm outside the room where the baby is, so that the parent or carer can move around the house without having to worry about checking up on the baby on a regular basis

These remote alarms are normally wireless nowadays and they may also have a vibration alert. This is a very helpful role. The last consideration is the power source. Batteries alone are not really good enough.

The best forms are rechargeable. That is, they function like a mobile phone. This means that the sensor can be attached to the crib and the baby wherever it is, even when there is no local power source.

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