Is A Tonsillectomy In Your Child’s Future? Why A Sleep Study Should Be The First Step In Treatment

tonsillectomy sleep studyRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Nearly 12 percent of children in America suffer from a sleep breathing disorder, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO). Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs in about 4 percent of these children, which means they are not breathing well while asleep. With constant interruptions during sleep, these children may exhibit symptoms of snoring, gasping for air, daytime fatigue, and have trouble focusing. Many sufferers tend to experience poor academic performance and may have symptoms similar to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

What is OSA?

OSA means the airway is blocked by soft tissues of the mouth and throat, which causes a decrease in air flowing in and out of the body. Sometimes, a child’s bite may be out of alignment causing the lower jaw to slip backwards, pushing the tongue towards the back of the throat. Enlarged tissues of the throat, such as the tonsils, may be to blame for blocking the airway. As a result, every year nearly 530,000 tonsillectomies are performed on children under the age of 15 years old, yet only about 10 percent of these children have undergone a sleep study before their surgery.

My child’s physician recommends a tonsillectomy, why should I consider a sleep study first?
The AAO urges medical and dental professionals to refer children, who exhibit OSA symptoms, for a sleep study as the first step in treatment. Polysomnography (PSG) is a sleep study that is ideal for children who show symptoms of OSA. Through an evidence-based research, PSG has been identified as a reliable form of sleep testing for children ages 2-18 who suffer from sleep breathing disorders or who are candidates for a tonsillectomy.

Symptoms of OSA:

If your child experiences any of these symptoms, consider a sleep study.

• Frequent loud snoring
• Gasping for air or long pauses in breathing during sleep
• Restless sleeping or significant tossing and turning (night sweats)
• Chronic mouth breathing during sleep
• Unexplained mood swings, misbehavior, or decline in academic performance

You may be unaware whether your child experiences symptoms of OSA. However, if your child is a candidate for a tonsillectomy, they should first undergo a sleep test to determine if OSA is the problem. Testing for OSA means better outcomes and safer surgery for children who’s enlarged tonsils are causing their sleep breathing disorder.

To schedule your child’s sleep study, contact Hartrick Dentistry today. We welcome patients of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Pediatric

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    Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
    32609 Woodward Ave.
    Royal Oak, MI 48073
    Call: 248-549-0950
    Fax: 248-549-1180