Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea

What is Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when sleep is disrupted because of a full or partial airway blockage. It can be caused by obesity since excess fat around the neck can cause the throat to narrow.

OSA is also commonly caused by oversized adenoids and tonsils. More rarely it is a result of a physical abnormality or a neuromuscular condition. No matter the cause, it can have numerous physical, mental and social repercussions.

What are the Symptoms of Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The symptoms of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea may include:

  • Recurrent loud snoring, snorting and gasping during sleep
  • Flaying around in bed
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Bedwetting
  • Poor academic performance
  • Moodiness
  • Behavioral problems

How is Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treated?

The treatment of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea depends on the cause of the condition. The child should have a medical examination, and a sleep study may be necessary. Treatment may include:

  • Adenoid and tonsil removal
  • Weight loss
  • CPAP use

When left untreated POS can result in:

  • Increased nighttime urine output and bedwetting problems
  • Social problems with siblings, friends and other sleepover partners
  • Behavioral problems because of a lack of restful sleep
  • OSA may increase the risk of ADD (attention deficit disorder)
  • Reduction of growth hormones that result in developmental delays
  • Obesity caused by a lack of exercise and insulin resistance
  • Increased chance of developing heart problems, high blood pressure or a lung condition
Last Reviewed:
October 08, 2016
Last Updated:
August 24, 2017
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