As a parent, it’s concerning when your child wakes up through the night gasping for air. Your child may become irritable during the day, and sleep problems may even affect their schooling. Fortunately, Dr. Scott Franklin of Georgetown ENT can provide sleep apnea treatment, so your child doesn’t have to contend with all the unpleasantries of sleep apnea. Treatment can also prevent complications that arise from untreated sleep apnea.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Children
Before providing treatment, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist will ask you to complete a detailed medical history report for your child. They will inquire about your child’s symptoms and conduct a physical examination. Based on the symptoms you describe, the doctor may recommend a sleep study to monitor your child’s vitals as they sleep. Other testing might be performed, as well.
Possible Treatment Approaches
After determining if your child has sleep apnea, as well as the specific type, your doctor may recommend medication, a special machine to help keep the airways open, an oral appliance, or surgery. The treatment depends on the reason for your child’s sleep apnea and the severity of it.
If your child’s sleep apnea is due to allergies, the physician may prescribe an allergy medication, which can help reduce swelling in the tonsils and adenoids. This can help open up the airways, thus relieving sleep apnea symptoms.
For mild cases, the practitioner may prescribe a nasal steroid. This can help open the airways by alleviating swelling that leads to an obstruction. Some children may receive a prescription for both an allergy medication and a nasal steroid.
If your kid has moderate to severe sleep apnea, the ENT may recommend surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids. This can open up the airways when the tonsils and adenoids are obstructing your child’s breathing at night. The doctor may recommend other upper airway surgeries, as well, depending on the reason for your child’s sleep apnea.
Positive Airway Pressure Therapy
Your kid’s ENT may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine for your child to use when they sleep. This is often a solution if medication and surgery don’t effectively manage your child’s sleep apnea or if the condition is caused by an issue that is not treatable.
Both of these devices require your child to wear a mask on their face. The mask connects to a machine through the tubing. The device emits gentle air pressure into your child’s throat to keep the airways open while they sleep.
These machines are slightly different from one another in terms of the air pressure they release. A CPAP provides the same level of air pressure when your child breathes in or out. On the other hand, a BiPAP delivers a different level of pressure when your child inhales compared to when they exhale.
Some children may benefit from an oral appliance. The doctor will fit them for the appliance, which is to be worn when sleeping. The device helps expand the nasal passages or palate. In some cases, it may reposition your child’s jaw and tongue. In either case, the appliance may help keep the airways open.
Why Choose Our ENT Specialist in Georgetown, TX for Your Child’s Sleep Apnea
At Georgetown ENT, our specialist has extensive experience treating issues such as sleep apnea. We have a lot of experience working with children, so we understand how to make them as comfortable as possible during the examination process. Dr. Scott Franklin will work with you and your child to accurately diagnose and effectively treat the issue, so they can get a better night’s sleep.
Book an appointment for your child today at Georgetown ENT, serving Georgetown and the surrounding area. Use our online appointment booking tool, or call us at (512) 869-0604.