What is obstructive sleep apnea?

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

What is it?

Your kid may not only be a loud sleeper if they snore or have difficulty breathing at night. It can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder where breathing is regularly interrupted while you sleep. Between 2 to 5 percent of kids and teens have OSA.

The cause of OSA is a blockage of the upper airway at the back of the nose or throat, which prevents the lungs from receiving the proper quantity of air. The symptoms of sleep apnea include frequent, 10- to 20-second breathing pauses (apneas) during the course of the night. These breaks may result in a brief drop in oxygen levels, which notifies the brain that something is wrong. After the individual is awake, the brain “jump starts” breathing once again. These short awakenings wake you up, yet breathing continues.

Children with OSA may experience daytime fatigue, irritability, or hyperactivity as well as poor academic performance. Modvigil 200(Provigil) is used to treat excessive sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy and residual sleepiness in certain cases of sleep apnea. Scientists believe the drug affects the sleep-wake centers in the brain. The most common side effect is a headache.

What signs indicate obstructive sleep apnea?

It might be challenging to identify obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in youngsters. Even if they are not getting enough sleep, children with OSA may not seem tired. Depending on the kid and the degree of the issue, OSA symptoms might also change.

Typical signs could include:

sleeping with the mouth open or the neck extended, snoring, breathing pauses that last 10 to 20 seconds and frequently end in a gasp, snort, or sigh, restless sleep, frequent night awakenings, sweating during sleep, fatigue, irritability, or hyperactivity during the day, difficulty waking in the morning, morning headaches or dry mouth, recurrent nighttime bedwetting after months or years of the child being dry at night.
Consult your primary care practitioner if you suspect your kid has OSA. For a thorough assessment and sleep study, he or she can recommend you to a sleep expert.

Why does obstructive sleep apnea happen?

The upper airway at the back of the throat becomes blocked, which results in OSA. The following are typical causes of the blockage:

allergies, asthma, sinus infections, or gastroesophageal reflux disease; expansion of the tonsils and adenoids (spongy tissues at the back of the throat); fat deposits around the upper airway as a result of being overweight or obese;
specific medical diseases, including Prader-Willi syndrome and Down syndrome
the Pierre Robin sequence, the Apert syndrome, and the Crouzon syndrome are examples of craniofacial problems
Muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy are two examples of neuromuscular conditions that impact muscle tone and function.

How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed?

The physician will conduct a thorough physical examination and get a thorough medical history in order to identify your child’s ailment. Furthermore, he or she may

Ask questions about your child’s sleep breathing and any other symptoms he or she may be experiencing. If necessary, record your child’s sleep or establish a sleep diary. The number of hours your kid sleeps, how often they wake up, and how aware they are in the morning are all recorded in a sleep diary. To record your child’s symptoms, a quick video of them sleeping captured with your phone might be extremely beneficial. Be sure to bring them to your visit if you already have them.

What medical exams are performed to identify obstructive sleep apnea?

A few tests may be ordered by your physician to assess your youngster. They may consist of:

  • an x-ray of the upper airway in your youngster
  • a polysomnogram (sleep study) to track body movements, heart rate, oxygen levels, and sleep interruptions while measuring several sorts of data.

How obstructive sleep apnea is handled

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment may have a significant beneficial impact on your child’s general health.

If OSA has been identified in your kid, there are several efficient therapies available. They may consist of:

The use of oral (dental) appliances to open the airway using a continuous or bi-level positive airway pressure (CPAP or BiPAP) machine to keep the airway open while sleeping muscle retraining of the upper airway nasal steroids and other medications to reduce nasal congestion, particularly in children who have allergies or asthma (myofunctional therapy).

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