Abstract and Keywords
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children is a sleep disorder where the movement of air through the upper airway (nose, mouth, trachea) is decreased due to an obstruction that is most commonly caused by enlarged adenoids and tonsils. It results in disturbed and fragmented sleep and decreased levels of blood oxygenation. In turn, children with OSA can experience enuresis, growth retardation, and cognitive and behavioral difficulties. Treatment of pediatric OSA focuses on the removal of adenoid and tonsil tissues where applicable. Secondary treatment of OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which has a series of issues regarding adherence and use that could be addressed by cognitive-behavioral therapies or group therapy. Children with special medical conditions such as Trisomy 21, other genetic syndromes, and psychiatric illness are at increased risk for the development of OSA and should be closely monitored for the presence of the disease. Future directions include delving deeper into an understanding of how CPAP effectively treats OSA in children and strategies to improve adherence to CPAP therapy in the pediatric population.
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