How to Treat Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is when children stop breathing briefly while asleep due to a blockage in the upper airway. The pause in their breathing could occur multiple times during the night, not giving them enough restful sleep, leading them to develop behavioral issues, perform poorly at school, and experience immense daytime sleepiness.
To schedule a pediatric obstructive sleep apnea consultation and learn more about pediatric obstructive sleep apnea surgery from a specialist, visit the Richardsons Dental and Craniofacial Hospital. Our pediatric obstructive sleep apnea specialists provide all the details you need, including surgery cost and diagnosis procedure to take the treatment forward.
What Causes Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
The leading cause of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Other causes include obesity, narrow facial bone structure, growth or tumor in the airway, or congenital disabilities or conditions such as Down syndrome and Pierre Robin syndrome.
How to Diagnose Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The pediatric obstructive sleep apnea specialist begins by understanding the child’s symptoms. We ask questions related to your child’s sleep patterns and health history. Your child will have to undergo a physical examination, and the doctor might also recommend them for a sleep study.
A sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, is a test in a specialized bedroom in a sleep laboratory. The analysis helps measure a child’s heart rate, brain activity, muscle activity, and sleep interruptions. It also determines oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, the level of airflow through the mouth and nose, and chest and abdominal wall movement. An adult caretaker is kept around when the patient is a child. A technician monitors the situation and helps take the sensors off in necessary situations.
How is Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treated?
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea can be treated in four different ways depending on the reason behind the obstruction. The first option is surgery to remove the enlarged tonsils and adenoids. A child suffering from other structural abnormalities in their neck and head might require different surgeries. For instance, if a child has poorly aligned teeth or a small jaw, it can be fixed by a facial or dental surgeon, thereby allowing for more room in the airway.
The second treatment option is a modification in lifestyle, such as a child losing weight since obesity can be a reason behind obstructive sleep apnea. Medications are the third treatment option, as it helps open or clear the airways.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the fourth treatment option wherein the patient wears a mask over the nose while sleeping. This mask is connected to a small portable machine that blows air into the airway through the nasal passages. The machine generates air pressure, which helps keep the child’s airway open, allowing them to breathe normally while sleeping.