The treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea in children depends on the underlying cause.
In children with enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, surgery would be recommended.
For more information, please refer to our booklet: ‘Up Close: Get the answers to common Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions’. For more details on surgical treatment, including adenotonsillectomy, please refer to the sections: Common ENT conditions among Children – “Snoring in children”, and “Tonsils and adenoids”.
In children who are obese, weight loss measures such as healthy eating and regular exercise are encouraged.
They may also be referred to paediatric specialists for weight management programmes and to screen for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.
In some children where surgery is not an option, or if they continue to have significant residual obstructive sleep apnoea after surgery, they may be recommended the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) during sleep.
The CPAP set-up consists of a face mask connected by a tubing to a machine that generates and delivers a positive pressure.
This pressure helps to keep the upper airway of your child open during sleep. Children who are treated with CPAP will need to be managed by a paediatric sleep specialist, who will recommend regular follow-up checks and sleep studies.
Besides the treatments mentioned above, a small group of children may benefit from an orthodontic assessment and other procedures or surgeries for their sleep apnoea.
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