Nocturnal enuresis, also known as bedwetting, can be distressing conditioning for children or adults.
Essentially nocturnal enuresis is the act of urinating the bed, after an age where bladder control has been achieved. The age in children when they have bladder control varies from child to child.
Bedwetting in Adults
In adults should nocturnal enuresis start it is advisable to seek medical attention as it can be a sign of an underlying condition.
It can be caused by a small bladder capacity or overactive bladder nerves, an enlarged prostate, a bladder or kidney stone, or even as a side effect of obstructive sleep apnea.
Adult bedwetting can also be a symptom of diabetes or a number of neurological disorders.
Some medication such as sleeping pills or antipsychotics can also irritate your bladder resulting in nocturnal enuresis.
Bedwetting in Children
Nocturnal enuresis is the most common childhood complaint and is rarely a symptom of something more serious.
Bedwetting in children is either primary (PNE) when they have not yet been dry for a prolonged period, or secondary (SNE) which is when they start bedwetting after they have been dry for some time.
The child’s therapy will focus on improving and protecting their self-esteem as bedwetting can have a detrimental effect on their confidence and self-esteem as well as causing further behavioural problems which can result in further bedwetting.
With the parents, it is important to teach them how to maintain their relationship with their children. Shaming them, punishing them or pressuring them over the bedwetting will not help.
However, as traumatic as bedwetting can be for both the children and the parents, it is a condition that will pass with the right treatment.