What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children?

by admin on July 13, 2017

Dr. Rande Lazar of Memphis, Tennessee, graduated with his doctor of medicine degree from UAG and obtained additional MD training from New York Medical College, and is board qualified in head and neck surgery by the American Board of Otolaryngology. Practicing medicine for more than 35 years, Rande Lazar, MD currently serves as the director of pediatric otolaryngology fellowship training at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center and is a contributing author to Management of Obstructive Sleep apnea in Children: A Practical Approach published by ENT Journal. Research indicates 10 percent of all school aged children suffer from some form of sleep disorder breathing ranging from the mild condition of habitual snoring to the more severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Although obesity has proven to be a contributing factor, the current estimated ratio of habitual snorers to children diagnosed with OSA is 5 to 1, suggesting not all overweight children snore and not all chronic snorers are clinically diagnosed with OSA. Believed to be genetic, children with enlarged tonsils or adenoids demonstrate a higher chance of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Besides obesity and genetics, other contributing factors include, but are not limited to, having an enlarged tongue, a gracile midface or jaw, and children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or other neuromuscular disorders leading to less muscle tone. As obstructive sleep apnea is defined to be without breath, symptoms are loud snoring, long pauses in breathing, and headaches or daytime fatigue and irritability. This condition usually corrects itself as the patient outgrows the condition, though serious cases of OSA may require adenotonsillectomy surgery.

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