Children’s Asthma and Sleep Apnea Has Improved During Lockdown – A Clinician Explains Why That Might Be
It’s Monday morning and I’m running my regular children’s sleep clinic. Except it’s not a Monday morning like any other I have had in my 20 years of practice. I am running the clinic on my laptop, seeing patients and their families on a video screen rather than in person, in an eerily quiet children’s outpatient department.
After two months of COVID-19 lockdown and working “all hands on deck” to deal with the pandemic surge, I am allowed to resume my outpatient work. One thing that strikes me in this clinic is another new phenomenon. Parents are reporting that their child’s symptoms have dramatically improved over the last few weeks.
Most of the children I see in my clinic have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that leads to a disturbed night’s sleep due to the repeated blocking of the upper airways (apneas). This leads to daytime symptoms such as tiredness, behavioral issues and poor concentration. Left untreated, these children may not reach their full academic potential and may go on to develop heart failure …