Sleep Apnea Can Occur in Children as well as Adults. Comprehensive Sleep Care Center has a Pediatric Sleep Specialist on Staff.
Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is a condition in which a child has a partial or complete airway obstruction during sleep, often associated with loud snoring and breathing pauses. This condition occurs in 1-3% of otherwise healthy pre-school children. OSA is most prevalent in children ages 2-5 years old but can occur in infants and adolescents as well.
Daytime symptoms for these children may be subtle, such as hyperactivity, trouble concentrating, poor school performance, daytime sleepiness or fatigue.
Children at Risk of OSA
Children with the following characteristics have a higher risk for OSA:
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Chronic allergies or sinusitis
- Enlarged tongue
- Small jaw
- Deviated nasal septum
- Obesity or failure to thrive
- Primary cause of OSA in children
- Adenoids and/or tonsils grow quicker than the airway
- The first line of treatment is the T&A procedure
- Efficacy: ~59-66%
- Predictors for T&A success: degree of airway obstruction, lower BMI, younger age
- Residual OSA following surgery may require PAP
Consequences of Sleep Disorders in Children
- Physiological: weakened immunity, increased inflammation, increased hunger/higher BMI, diminished development of pre-frontal cortex
- Behavioral: aggression, emotional volatility, withdrawal, hyperactivity
- Academic: poor grades, slower learning, lack of retention, poor attention, and focus
American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines
- All children/adolescents should be screened for snoring
- Polysomnography should be performed in children/adolescents with snoring and symptoms/signs of OSAS; if polysomnography is not available, then alternative diagnostic tests or referral to a specialist for more extensive evaluation may be considered.
- Adenotonsillectomy is recommended as the first-line treatment of patients with adenotonsillar hypertrophy. High-risk patients should be monitored as inpatients post-operatively.
- Patients should be re-evaluated post-operatively to determine whether further treatment is required. Objective testing should be performed in patients who are high risk or have persistent symptoms/signs of OSAS after therapy.
- Continuous positive airway pressure is recommended as treatment if adenotonsillectomy is not performed or if OSAS persists post-operatively.
- Weight loss is recommended in addition to other therapy in patients who are overweight or obese.
- Intranasal corticosteroids are an option for children with mild OSAS in whom adenotonsillectomy is contraindicated or for mild post-operative OSAS.
Helping your patients sleep better
- Listen for clues about sleep issues such as hyperactivity, lack of focus, behavioral issues and depression
- Write a referral for a consult or sleep test
- CSCC’s board-certified pediatric sleep specialist assist you with your general and more complex pediatric patients as our center is one of two in the DC metro area with a board-certified pediatric sleep specialist dedicated to promoting sleep health in our children and adolescents.
- Let CSCC help you find a Boarded Sleep Medicine Specialist to manage your more complex patients, a lab specializing in pediatric cases or for any questions you may have about sleep
The Smart Choice for your patients
A one-stop sleep health shop = win/win for your patients
- A seamless process from diagnosis to therapy for you and your patient referrals
- A sleep medicine practice solely focused on sleep medicine
- Pre-certification services of your patient’s insurance provided by our billing specialists
- Collaborative partnership and multidisciplinary approach with our referring providers and their patients
- An individualized, tailored treatment plan for the entire spectrum of sleep health management
- Full-service sleep health practice providing DME, including our onsite team of dentists for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea by oral appliance therapy. Insurance billed directly on the behalf of your patient
- Ongoing patient education, long term support and compliance monitoring of CPAP therapy to enhance patient outcomes
- Home Sleep study program available
- Quick turnaround on results and updated follow-up notes provided