Children can have sleep apnoea too, says expert

‘Negative effects of OSA can be reversed with early detection’

December 10, 2014 12:38 am | Updated 12:38 am IST - Vijayawada:

Vidyasagar Ramakrishnan

Vidyasagar Ramakrishnan

Sleep apnoea related research has shown that people who snore are not sound sleepers. Their brain wakes up hundreds of times in a night. The specialists refer to it as OSA (obstructive sleep apnoea).

Yet another revelation is that children also snore and suffer from OSA. The damage done by OSA to the health of children is comparatively more. In extreme cases, the children develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) due to OSA. It was also a serious cause of metabolic, cardiovascular and neuro-cognitive morbidity in children.

Snoring, breathing through the mouth, recurrent episodes of nose blockage and throat infection, attention deficiency, bed wetting, hearing problems or obesity are indicators of OSA, said Snoring and Sleep Apnoea, Sinus surgeon and Paediatric ENT specialist Vidyasagar Ramakrishnan. He is the head of an ENT, Head and Neck Super Speciality Centre and Associate Professor at NRI Medical College.

The negative effects of OSA in children could be reversed with early detection and treatment, he said.

Enlargement of adenoids or tonsils, obstructions in the nose, deviation of the nasal septum and sometimes other swellings in the airway caused OSA in children. OSA causes hypertension, disorders of heart and respiratory system and affects the growth of the child. The actual cause of OSA could generally be established by minimal invasive examination of the airway with an endoscope, but in some cases more thorough investigations like CT or MRI scans were necessary, he said.

If “medical management” failed to cure OSA, state-of-the-art plasma knife surgery, radiofrequency ablation or Coblation (radiofrequency in combination with salt solution) therapy was now available in Vijayawada and do not have to go to Mumbai or New Delhi, Dr Vidyasagar said. A five-month old infant that had developed OSA due to a lesion in the throat was recently treated using a plasma knife, Dr Vidyasagar said.

The use of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine was recommended only in patients who were either morbidly obese or had no structural obstructions or deformities, he said.

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