Sleep is something crucial to every life, but for kids, sleep is especially important. Growing bodies and minds need plenty of rest to wake up the next morning healthy, happy, and ready to learn more about a little bit of everything. However, one huge sleep obstacle that some kids face is one that might be familiar to some parents, too: sleep apnea.
When we talk about sleep apnea, we most often think of it as an “adult problem.” Unfortunately, the truth is that this is one condition that can’t be thwarted by youthfulness–kids can get sleep apnea too. For overweight adolescence, the condition is more common, or those living an unhealthy lifestyle, but, as with adults, any individual can be affected. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is the most popular type of sleep apnea, and it causes airway blockage which, in turn, causes snoring, interrupted sleep cycles, sleeping in odd positions, and a poor night’s sleep. Luckily, our Pediatric Otolaryngology experts know just what to do.
What are the options available to a child with OSA? Here’s a quick look!
- T & A surgery. T & A surgery–tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy–is the most common treatment for childhood OSA. This treatment removes enlarged adenoids or tonsils, which are often the cause of OSA to begin with.
- Lifestyle. Another possible treatment option is to change the child’s lifestyle and make overall healthier choices. For example, weight loss is often extremely helpful in managing OSA; healthy diets, plenty of exercise, and drinking at least eight glasses of water are just a few more steps in the right direction.
- CPAP. Some parents might be familiar with this one. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is a common treatment for adult OSA, and it’s an option for kids, too. The machine regulates breathing by keeping airways open during sleep.
Interested in more information on OSA? Looking for Pediatric Otolaryngology experts? Contact us at (208) 367-3320 today!