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New Pediatric Sleep Center Opens

New Center Opens at the Komansky Center for Children's Health

NEW YORK (Sep 1, 2012)

Haviva Veler, M.D.
Haviva Veler, M.D.

Sleep disorders and breathing disorders during sleep are among the most common issues parents deal with in childhood. These disorders may result in daytime dysfunction, including learning and behavioral disabilities, as well as long term pulmonary, endocrine and heart disease. Obtaining a diagnosis and managing sleep problems early may help children avoid consequences that can affect them in adulthood.

The Pediatric Sleep Center offers expert diagnosis and treatment for sleep disorders for children of all ages. Led by Haviva Veler, M.D., the pediatric sleep team is skilled in the evaluation and management of children with behavioral and physiological sleep disorders. Dr. Veler is board certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Pulmonology and in Sleep Medicine, and is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The Sleep Center's warm and friendly environment tailored to the needs of children and adolescents with kid-friendly decor and furniture; overnight rooms equipped with WiFi, televisions, and DVD players; and accommodations for one parent or guardian to spend the night.

Treatment of Sleep Disorders

In young children, the most common reason for sleep apnea is enlarged tonsils and adenoids and surgical removal of these structures will resolve the apnea in most cases. In other cases, young patients have other reasons for apnea, such as obesity, narrow facial structure, muscle weakness, or residual apnea after surgical interventions. Areas of expertise include:

  • Sleep disordered breathing such as sleep apnea, snoring
  • Behavioral problems such as bedtime struggles, night awakenings
  • Sleep walking and sleep terrors
  • Narcolepsy
  • Apnea of infancy
  • Sleep schedule abnormalities such as Circadian rhythm disorders, delayed sleep phase syndrome
  • Sleeplessness
  • Movement disorders including periodic limb movement disorder and head banging
  • Upper airway abnormalities
  • Breathing problems occurring at night that are secondary to an underlying disease, such as muscle weakness or chronic lung disease

Technologically-Dependent Children

The Center offers special expertise and support for technology-dependent children, including setting up non-invasive ventilation (CPAP or BiPAP) and communicating with home care and nursing companies to reassess the continuing need for treatment.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is between 1 to 3 percent in the pediatric population. The most common symptom of OSA is snoring. In young children, while the most common cause of snoring and apnea is enlarged tonsils and adenoids, there are other underlying conditions that may contribute to sleep apnea, such as obesity, a narrow facial structure, or muscle weakness.

The Sleep Study

A diagnosis begins with a comprehensive sleep history and physical examination. The definitive diagnosis is done by polysomnography, also known as an overnight sleep study, which involves the attaching of leads at various points on the child's body to monitor sleep quality and structure, the effort of breathing, oxygen saturation and carbon dioxide levels, as well as heart rhythms, muscle tone, and leg movements.

A sleep technologist provides continuous monitoring during the study for the quality and quantity of the child's sleep, as well as breathing patterns and body movements. Most sleep studies are done overnight. The Center also offers a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), a test performed during the day, which quantifies sleepiness and serves as the diagnostic test for narcolepsy.

Referring to the Pediatric Sleep Center

Referrals to the Pediatric Sleep Center can be done by a child's pediatrician, ENT physician, neurologist or sleep specialist. Children 2 to18 years who are otherwise healthy and are referred for a sleep study due to snoring in the context of enlarged tonsils/adenoids or obesity, can be referred directly to the Pediatric Sleep Center. Referral forms for the sleep lab can be obtained by email or fax by calling 646-962-3410.

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