Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Tonsils – What Are the Choices?

Obstructive sleep apnea in children that our normal is almost always caused by swollen tonsils (hypertrophic). These youngsters will usually show the regular sleeping patterns of sleep apnea. They have very loud snoring, frequent pauses with breathing at night, nightmares, restless sleep, frequent awakening from sleep and bedwetting (enuresis). During daytime hours, these kids are what's called mouth breathers along with the possibility of sleeping excessively, but still having daytime sleepiness, and bad school performance.

The following would have some of the different, but more uncommon causes of sleep apnea can include any congenital (present from birth) or acquired cause of upper airway obstructions.
Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is most commonly directed to the root cause of the obstruction.

As we talked about above, the vast majority of these cases having to do with obstructive sleep apnea in kids can be directly linked to enlarged tonsils. Surgical interventions are therefore always directed to what is causing the obstruction. If caused by enlarged tonsils a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy is most often successful in alleviating the problem. When the root of the problem is not the adenoids and tonsils, the cause of the obstruction must be established. For example, surgery of the jaw could be necessary. In some cases, even a tracheotomy is required. Non-surgical therapies include oral prostheses (difficult in children), medications (stimulants, steroids), and weight reduction.

In just about every case of obstructive sleep apnea in children who do not have unique anatomic problems, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy is a safe and effective treatment, and is highly recommended by almost everyone in the medical field recommended.