If you have a child who snores at night, has frequent colds and upper respiratory infections and as a result of these issues sleeps poorly at night - then you may have a child with OSA - obstructive sleep apnea. My brother was just such a child. Our bedroom was actually a medium sized area that was divided with a folding room divider that my parents installed to creatively create two sleeping spaces. From my perspective it meant we each had our own space but at night......it was one loud ongoing noise fest thanks to my brother's never ending snore fest. He ended up getting a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy and according to some new studies - that was the best approach available.
These days it seems that doctors have been choosing to either perform a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy OR use orthodontic expansion in the hopes of curing OSA in kids. Some kids will improve with either approach but a new study found that the two combined really offer the best possible resolution of the condition and the symptoms. Typically doctors will choose orthodontic expansion since it is less invasive but because little children have small jaws it is often a limited procedure so it has limited results. Pediatric sleep specialists are advising a "team approach" so that surgeons, ENT specialist and orthodontists collaborate, to decide what is the best approach for the child who presents with OSA. Very often it is a staged treatment approach where the least invasive treatment is instituted followed by other more invasive treatments if the child is still snoring and sleeping poorly. Every child is different so if you suspect OSA in one of your children talk to your pediatrician about the best treatment plan for your child.
Published On: July 28, 2008