Obstructions due to
chronically congested nasal passages or enlarged tonsils may affect the
growth of the face. "Long face syndrome" is a term describing the
longer, narrow face of children who suffer from uncontrolled allergies
or, an obstruction of the upper airway which creates an inability to
breathe through the nose.
Narrow nostrils, shadows beneath the eyes
and constantly open lips may also be associated with blockage of the
upper airway or allergies.
If the child is unable to breath
through the nose, mouth breathing results, which may affect overall
health since important nasal functions are bypassed. As air passes
through the nose, it is warmed, humidified and cleaned of foreign
particles, pollen and bacterial. In addition, dry air carries less
oxygen than moist air to the lungs, causing these children to fatigue
The child's bite may change too.
Unbalanced muscles forces compress the upper jaw and the tongue may
protrude through the front teeth, forcing them outward. If the
constriction of the upper jaw repositions the molars, your dentist may
recommend expansion of the upper jaw with an appliance, which also often
In some children a severe
upper airway blockage can cause breathing to stop during sleep or sleep
apnea. These children may not grown normally because of the energy
they expend trying to breathe during the night. Also these
children may be hyperactive and experience poor concentration,
headaches, nightmares and bedwetting.
Parents may use an audio or video
to tape documentation of the child's sleep disturbances. A doctor
may recommend removal of adenoids if sleep apnea is due to obstruction
of the upper airway.
If allergies are the source of the
problem, the causes need to be determined and removes. Parents are
to try to minimize dust. Use: