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Coping Methods For Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children

Obstructive Sleep apnea refers to sleeping problems in the child caused by an obstruction in the upper airways. The obstruction often occurs due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids. It usually affects children age 2 to 8 years. It is a type of pediatric sleep apnea. Its other type is central sleep apnea. It leads to frequent pauses in the breathing in sleep, often followed by choking, coughing and snoring. It is also caused by abnormal structures of face or skull, congenital abnormalities such as down’s syndrome, and many more.

Coping Methods For Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children

Coping Methods For Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children

Obstructive sleep apnea is often treated by removing obstacles in the airway to clear the airway with surgery. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy or T&A are the most preferred surgery. Other treatment options include medicines, oral appliances, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).(3)

Obstructive sleep apnea in children should be diagnosed in time to have proper treatment at a time. If it is left untreated, it causes several problems such as weak growth, poor weight gain, heart ailments, daytime attention deficit, and behavioral issues.(3)

Getting proper sleep is necessary for maintaining health and proper mental growth in children with obstructive sleep apnea. The parents should be aware of the symptoms of sleep apnea in children. It interferes a lot with the energy level, behavior, and learning abilities of the child. So, Parents should consult their pediatrician about the condition of the child to avoid future consequences.(2)

The most aspect of treatment for children with obstructive sleep apnea is the use of CPAP whenever they sleep. The health benefits of this therapy can be enormous, but only the condition is the correct use of CPAP. Parents should carefully observe any problem related to the adjustment of the CPAP or any side effects of wearing the appliance. If any problem or side effect is faced, then the parents should contact the doctor who has prescribed it and ask for assistance.(2)

If symptoms of insomnia such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up unrefreshed in children still prevails, parents should consult the doctor about treatment options. It is found that certain store-purchased and prescription sleep aids may disturb breathing in obstructive sleep apnea in children. Research study shows that ramelteon is the only medicine, prescribed in mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnea patients, do not harm their breathing.(2)

Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder of children characterized by disturbance in breathing due to incomplete or complete blockage repeatedly happening during sleep. It occurs when the upper airway during sleep is blocked or becomes narrower during sleep. It is the leading cause of daytime attention and behavior problems in children.(1)

Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea and adult sleep apnea are different in their features. In adults, OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) usually induces daytime sleepiness, whereas, in children, behavioral problems appear. Obesity is the underlying cause in adults, while in children, enlargement of the adenoids and tonsils is the most common cause.(1)

The other causes of Obstructive sleep apnea include down syndrome, neurovascular, or central nervous abnormalities such as cerebral palsy, structural abnormalities of skull or face, family history, problems related to mouth, jaw or throat, and a large tongue that falls back or block the upper respiratory tract.(3)

Its symptoms in children are represented by snoring followed by pauses, snorts or gasps, troubled breathing while sleep, restless sleep, bedwetting, sleepwalking, night terrors, daytime sleepiness, tiredness all the time in the day, hard waking up, trouble in paying attention to the school and other behavioral problems.(3)


The coping methods of obstructive sleep apnea involve close observation of the symptoms and outcomes of the treatment selected. Patients should be aware of these symptoms, and they should contact their pediatrician when a child exhibits them during sleep.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 14, 2023

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