How is Sleep Apnea in Children Treated?
Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids commonly cause sleep apnea in children, and surgical removal is often recommended. Successful operation results to full elimination of obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. However, some children with other chronic conditions like childhood obesity or complications of OSA may require overnight observation as breathing abnormalities don’t show up until the next REM cycle resumes after the procedure. Because of postoperative swelling, complete resolution of the OSA symptoms may take 6 to 8 weeks.
In cases where surgery is not indicated, positive airway pressure therapy is often the top recommendation. This poses certain challenges in younger patients in terms of compliance, but the results with regular PAP usage are good enough to sustain motivation.
For children with childhood obesity, weight management through proper nutrition and regular exercise are strongly encouraged.