How is obstructive sleep apnea treated?
The treatment for OSA and sleep-disordered breathing depends on the cause. If needed, surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids can cure some children. The success of this procedure depends on many things. Healthy children under 7 years old who are not obese have better surgical success. Obese children are less likely to be cured.
If surgery is not an option, treatment for obstructive apnea involves keeping the throat open to improve air flow with a device called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). During CPAP treatments, a child wears a nose mask that supplies extra air to keep the airways open. Other treatment options include maxillary expanders and oral appliances, such as mouth pieces. These treatments are prescribed by a dentist or orthodontist.
Some children may need therapy to tolerate CPAP therapy. Our sleep team has a desensitization therapy program to help these children.
Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for your child's obstructive sleep apnea treatment?
The Children's Colorado Sleep Team is an excellent resource for treating children and adolescents with OSA and sleep-disordered breathing. Our providers are internationally known for their expertise in sleep research and sleep treatments. Watch one of our physicians, Ann Halbower, MD, speak about her research on treating children with OSA.
The team is made up of sleep specialists trained in different aspects of sleep treatments:
- Physicians who specialize in children's breathing issues and children's ear, nose and throat problems
- A sleep-specialized psychologist
- Two sleep-specialized nurse practitioners
- A sleep-specialized respiratory therapist
- A dedicated sleep nurse
We often coordinate care with other specialists and primary care physicians involved in each family's treatment. Most importantly, we have very caring staff members who are willing to listen to families and "go the extra mile" to improve sleep and optimize children's development.