Posts Tagged ‘sleep apnea’

Kids and Sleep: Part 2 — Sleep Apnea

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Sleep apnea worries many parents. It's marked by loud snoring and disturbed sleep caused by interrupted breathing patterns. In kids, the leading cause is enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and the first line of treatment is surgical removal.

If untreated, sleep apnea may contribute to serious health problems in later life, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Wearing a special mask to bed helps kids with sleep apnea breathe and sleep better, according to a study at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

The breathing mask, which delivers a gentle, steady flow of air called positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, significantly improves breathing and blood-oxygen levels when worn regularly, researchers reported in the journal Pediatrics. Parents also reported that their children had improved daytime alertness after PAP therapy.

The mask takes some getting used to. Many of the children used the mask sporadically, which reduced the effectiveness of the treatment, according to the researchers. They stress the importance of parents monitoring mask usage so that kids can receive the maximum benefit from PAP therapy.

Tomorrow: Part 3 — Does Your Child Have One Of These Common Sleep Problems?