Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. Many episodes last 10 seconds or more and occur repeatedly throughout the night. In children, the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and it is caused by enlarged tonsils and/or adenoid tissue. Frequent symptoms of OSA in children include restless sleep, loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, behavior changes, and morning headaches.
The Pediatric Sleep Apnea Program works closely with NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital's Center for Sleep Disorders to identify children who suffer from OSA and arrange treatment plans for them. A sleep study or polysomnogram (PSG) is an overnight test that can be used to diagnose sleep apnea. One parent stays with the child throughout the night during this painless test. Treatment approaches for OSA include inpatient and outpatient surgical intervention, and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices when appropriate.