Sleep apnea is a common disorder in many children during their infancy phase, and one of the best treatments out there to rectify this syndrome is CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which helps in relieving upper airway obstruction during sleep. Complete or partial obstruction of the airway is the reason why children have difficulty in breathing during sleep. Some of the common symptoms include daytime tiredness, restlessness, breathing pauses and snoring. These factors can seriously impact your child’s health and well-being. It can lead to behavioral issues and may turn out to be fatal, if left untreated for long.
What Are The Benefits Of CPAP?
Not only does it avert obstruction of upper airway, but also:
- Reduce headaches due to sleep loss
- Reduce restlessness during daytime
- Stop snoring issues
- Enhance the quality of sleep
- Reduce any breathing difficulty during sleep.
How Does It Work?
In CPAP, the airway obstruction is negated by providing external air to the child at a certain pressure to keep the passage open. An electrical machine known as CPAP driver is used to transfer the air through a mask, which is held by straps or little cap. Once the child is comfortable wearing the mask, it will be kept overnight for monitoring purpose. This is to make sure that the right amount of pressure is being given, so that the child can tolerate the treatment through the night.
In some cases, the child may take a long time in getting used to the mask, but in majority of cases that won’t happen. To make the best use of CPAP, it has to be used throughout the night, until the time your child gets accustomed to it. One thing that should be clear is that CPAP evaluation does not cure the syndrome, but only controls it. The decision to use it or not is completely dependent on the tolerance capacity of your child. In case, he/she is unable to bear it, you may look for alternate treatments.
Key Points To Note
- The medical team behind this treatment will be reviewing your child at regular intervals. Take an appointment every 3-4 months to keep things in good shape.
- During these check-ups, make sure to carry the CPAP equipment, just in case it requires maintenance or configuration.
- Extra care must be taken in providing a silent atmosphere conducive for a quality sleep.
- Once the treatment is started, overnight study is done to ensure that an optimal pressure is maintained for the child. This study will involve ethical monitoring using the wires in connection to the skin, taking measure of breathing and sleeping pattern. With instructions from the expert, you can do that too, at your home.
- Children on long-term treatment plan will require follow-up studies on a yearly basis, just to make sure that the correct pressure is being maintained, and the machine is working properly.
- The ENT doctor will do a complete review of the sleep study results, and in case there’s any adjustments required, an appointment will be given immediately.