Obstructive sleep apnea

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects a child's breathing while they are sleeping. Learn about the causes, symptoms and diagnosis.

Key points

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when a child’s airway becomes blocked while they are sleeping.
  • Common causes of sleep apnea in children are larger than normal tonsils or enlarged adenoids. Other causes include excess body weight and weakness in the muscles involved in breathing.
  • Nighttime symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, breathing through the mouth and restless sleeping. Daytime symptoms include drowsiness, poor concentration and lack of energy.
  • Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep study. Treatment can include surgery, a weight loss program or positive airway pressure.
Last updated: August 2nd 2017