Treatment Options for Your Child
We understand that breathing disorders in children can be overwhelming and emotionally taxing. There are many different treatment options, and they depend on the cause and severity of disordered breathing.
Adenotonsillectomy surgery used to be the standard for treating children with disordered breathing—removing the tonsils and/or adenoids. This can open up your child’s airway if enlarged tonsils or adenoids cause the obstruction. But this is no longer the standard because we, as doctors, understand that we need to treat the cause. This treatment option is situational, and it’ll only work if an obstruction is causing the breathing disturbance.
Takeaway: If enlarged tonsils or adenoids cause your child’s condition, surgery might be a good option.
CPAP is 100% effective in treating all types of sleep apnea, from mild to severe in adults and children. If your child can adhere to treatment, they’ll be sleeping and thriving again in no time. CPAP is a machine that provides continuous air pressure and oxygen through a mask that goes over your child’s nose and mouth. For those with obstructive sleep apnea, it keeps their airway open. For those with central sleep apnea, it stimulates the lungs to breathe.
Takeaway: CPAP can treat all types and severities of sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy
If an obstruction is causing your child’s breathing problem, oral appliance therapy can help. It’s a mouthguard-like appliance your child wears while sleeping. It holds their jaw in a healthy position where their airway is open. You may have heard of this treatment for adults, but it doesn’t stop here for children. The appliance encourages healthy jaw growth, which can cure the problem altogether.
Takeaway: Oral appliance therapy holds your child’s airway open and encourages healthy jaw development.
Myofunctional therapy uses exercise to encourage airway reshaping and jaw development. Like oral appliance therapy, it is a cure for the problem. With myofunctional therapy, your child will experience better breathing all day long, not just during sleep. And it can head off future issues such as not having enough room for all their teeth and TMJ disorder.
Takeaway: Myofunctoinal therapy is a non-invasive exercise-based treatment that can cure sleep-disordered breathing and head off future issues.
Orthodontics and/or orthopedics
If your child’s jaw is already too far developed and an obstruction is causing problems, orthodontics can help move it into a healthy position, allowing them to breathe all night long. Along with curing sleep-disordered breathing, orthodontics can straighten teeth!
Takeaway: Orthodontics can move your child’s jaw into a position where they can breathe easy all night.