Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Is a very common sleep disorder that can affect your child’s breathing. Learn more today about the symptoms of pediatric OSA and the orthodontic treatment options we offer at Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics.
If Your Child Suffers From Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Osa), Park Smiles Nyc Pediatrics Offers The Latest Orthodontic Osa Treatment.
What is pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
It’s well known that millions of adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA ), a sleep disorder that can cause a wide array of serious medical issues if left untreated. But did you know that children can also have OSA? And just as with adults, pediatric OSA can lead to serious health problems if not addressed early on.
Pediatric OSA means your child’s breathing is partially or completely blocked repeatedly during sleep. The condition is typically due to narrowing or constriction of the upper airway.Some of the symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea during sleep may include:
- Severe snoring
- Pauses in breathing
- Restless sleep
- Snorting, coughing or choking
- Mouth breathing
- Bed wetting
- Sleep terrors such as screaming, intense fear and flailing while asleep, and even sleepwalking
There are also several potentialdaytime symptoms of pediatric sleep apnea, including:
- Poor performance in school
- Daytime sleepiness
- Behavioral issues
- Difficulty paying attention and lack of focus (ADD)
- Learning issues
- Weight gain
While the underlying cause in adults with OSA is often obesity, the most common underlying condition in children is enlargement of the adenoids and tonsils leading to airway construction. However, obesity also plays a role in children — in addition to other underlying factors such as craniofacial anomalies and neuro muscular disorders. A family history of OSA may also be a contributing factor.
How can orthodontic treatment help treat pediatric obstructive sleep apnea?
At Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics and our sister practice, NYC Sleep Well , our skilled team of sleep specialists, orthodontist, and Board-Certified Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon are here with the latest technology and tools to diagnose and treat pediatric OSA. The first step to see if your child may have sleep apnea is to schedule a consultation and initial exam. Then, if need be, a sleep apnea test will be recommended.
What’s involved in a sleep apnea test for children?
The pediatric sleep test, also known as a polysomnogram, is nearly identical to an adult sleep test in how it measures much of the same activity, including breathing, muscle movements, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and brain activity. For children, an in-lab overnight sleep test is sometimes recommended, which means you would take your child to a sleep center. To ensure the comfort and safety of children undergoing a sleep test, parents are encouraged to sleep in the same room in a separate bed. A home sleep test for children over the age of seven is also available if you prefer.
What is the treatment for children diagnosed with sleep apnea?
Because enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids are the most common cause of sleep apnea in children, surgery to remove the tissues (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy) corrects the symptoms in as many as 90% of the cases. For children whose sleep apnea is attributed to obesity, weight management and lifestyle programs are commonly recommended – with an emphasis on nutrition and exercise. In some cases, a CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure therapy) may be recommended.
There are also cases where seasonal allergies may aggravate symptoms of sleep apnea. For those children, allergy medications are recommended. If respiratory disorders contribute to a child’s sleep apnea, asthma medications or inhalers can also help.
There are many studies that show constricted airway is related to sleep apnea. Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids are the most common cause of airway constriction or blockage. However, there is also a strong cause and effect relationship between narrow maxilla, more specifically palate and restricted airway. Simple orthodontic treatment can significantly reduce airway problems including OSA as well as allowing normal facial structure movement. These treatments include:
- Orthodontic widening of airway. Using a maxillary palatal expander or rapid palatal expander (RPE) in young children with immature bone, this appliance will widen the palate and airway immediately, subsequently changing the upper and lower jaw skeletal relationship and creating a permanent airway solution.
- Orthodontic bite correction. Often, the discrepancy in upper and lower jaw relationship involves misaligned teeth and inappropriate bite (malocclusion). Together with skeletal and airway connection with an orthodontic appliance like an expander , fixed braces or removable clear aligner treatment is necessary to correct the bite and stabilize normal skeletal relationship and airway.
In addition to these treatments, there are proven in-office procedures and surgical treatments such as orthognathic surgery to treat OSA.
Why choose Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics and NYCSleepWell for your child’s sleep apnea treatment?
Led by Dr. Ruben Cohen , a Board CertifiedOral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, our skilled team of orthodontists and dental specialists have extensive experience in dental and orthodontic treatments in addition to surgicalprocedures for treatment of sleep apnea. These include the Pillar Procedure , Nasal Surgery , Radiofrequency , and Genioglossus Advancement.
For your added peace-of-mind, our facility is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Gold Standard in Accreditation.
If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms of pediatric OSA, call Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics today and schedule a consultation and exam.
Our goal is to help kids sleep well and be healthy!