Sleep Apnea in Children in Westlake Village | Agoura Hills California

Unlike adults, children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more difficult to recognize and diagnose.  Obstructive sleep apnea is common among children, and has been found to be the reason for daytime attention and behavioral problems.

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children

The most common symptom in children with obstructive sleep apnea is snoring.  Although this is true it is important to note that 10 – 20 percent of children snore on a regular or occasional basis.

In addition to snoring, other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in children include:

  • Breathing from the mouth
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • Restless sleeping
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Problems paying attention
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hyperactivity

Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children

A physical exam and medical history may be all that’s needed to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea in children. Diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in children is usually based on identifiable symptoms and proof of mouth breathing and adenotonsillar hypertrophy (big tonsils and adenoids).

Further tesing may include a pediatric sleep study.

Stop Snoring in Children

A nasal steroid may help improve nasal obstruction and OSA symptoms in children with allergies.

A surgical procedure which removes the child’s tonsils and adenoids (tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy or T&A) is the most common treatment for children with OSA.

If a child is overweight, that may contribute to their obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.  Although, most children with obstructive sleep apnea are not overweight, weightloss could be an important treatment for overweight children with serious OSA symptoms.

Facts You Should Know about children and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea can cause complications in children including high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, headaches and poor growth.

Daytime school and behavioral problems in children are increasing being recognized as the result of OSA.  You should ask your doctor about obstructive sleep apnea if your child is having problems in school or behavioral problems.

Medical conditions including various neuromuscular and central nervous system abnormalities, craniofacial abnormalities like Pierre Robin sequence, Treacher Collins syndrome and Crouzon syndrome are also often associated with obstructive sleep apnea.  Children with Down Syndrome are also at high risk for having OSA.


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