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Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children A Progressive Problem & Alternative Treatments For It?

Sleep-disordered breathing summarizes a varied compilation of sleep apnea disorders. Of these disorders, symptomatic obstructive sleep apnea is the most widespread, identified in 4 percent of adults and more than 1 percent of kids in American and European countries.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been related to influence nearly 4% of all nursery and school-aged kids. Most of these kids have moderate symptoms, and many outgrow the disorder. The core reason in adults is usually overweight problems, while in children the most common underlying condition is an enlargement of the adenoids and tonsils.

Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children A Progressive Problem?

Pediatric sleep continues to gain significant recognition due to both increasing evidence of a high prevalence of sleep disorders among children, and by virtue of the potential somatic and psycho-behavioral effects of disrupted sleep during early development.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs as a result of the narrowing of the airway and as a consequence of a structural decline in the upper airway or incoordination of upper airway dilatory muscle movement. In general, it can be a mixture of all these factors. In children, the primary abnormality associated with increased odds of obstructive sleep apnea consists of the presence of adenotonsillar hypertrophy.

Obstructive sleep apnea results in the onset of respiratory problems and often leads to progressive hypoxemia, hypercapnia, and increased breathing problems. improvements in learning and behavior occur following treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in children. However, some neurocognitive consequences may only be partially reversible if left too late.1,2

Alternative Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea can trigger a wide range of health problems as well as make you feel tired and exhausted in the morning. If left untreated, this sleeping condition can lead to:

  • Poor Psychiatric Health Issues- Psychological factors that may contribute to mental illness and severe psychological trauma.
  • A Weakening Of The Immune System- This can happen due to certain medications or susceptibility to infection
  • Cause Of Memory LossAntidepressants, muscle relaxants, and drug use has been recognized as the main culprits of memory loss.
  • Risk Factors Of Heart Failure– It has a major impact on cardiovascular function and can make outcomes worse.

The typical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in children is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, that requires wearing a mask during sleep.

CPAP– Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a prominent treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in children. Individuals wear a facial or nasal mask during sleep. The mask basically attached to a tube, which delivers a substantial flow of air into the nasal passageways to keep the airway open. The CPAP machine basically uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure. Most protection firms now reimburse for sleep testing and for CPAP therapy.

However, there are problems when you get the wrong mask size, having difficulty in wearing the mask, troubles in tolerating forced air and when you have issues with a dry and stuffy nose.3,4

Maintaining A Healthy Weight – Nutrition and exercise are extremely beneficial in providing quality sleep. And especially those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea may be less motivated to diet or exercise. Numerous health and quality of life improvements help fight obstructive sleep apnea in children.

FDA Approved Therapies – Oral appliance therapy an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in children. Most patients and practitioners prefer oral appliance therapy for their comfort, and they are helpful for mild to moderate disorders.

Surgery – Surgery is recommended for the most severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea in children that can effectively eliminate the symptoms. UPPP is the most common sleep apnea surgical procedure.5


  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children: Implications for the Developing Central Nervous System https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2490595/pdf/nihms55718.pdf
  2. Diagnostic Issues in Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2645257/pdf/PROCATS52263.pdf
  3. New and Unconventional Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480568/pdf/13311_2012_Article_146.pdf
  4. Lifestyle Remedies for Sleep Apnea https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-sleep-apnea
  5. Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatment Options https://www.aastweb.org/blog/5-alternative-sleep-apnea-treatment-options

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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:December 6, 2021

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