Health risks can result from obstructive sleep apnea in both adults and in children. But some treatments in children may be tricky.
A recent study found that a surgery used to treat obstructive sleep apnea in children may contribute to greater weight gain.
That weight gain may actually further increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea in those children.
“You can’t just treat the sleep apnea. You have to have nutrition and lifestyle counseling, too,” said lead researcher Dr. Eliot Katz, noting that obesity, ironically, is a risk factor for sleep apnea.
However, Dr. Michael Rothschild, clinical professor of otolaryngology and pediatrics, who was not involved with the study, gave a different interpretation to Us News:
“One possible interpretation of this clinical observation has been that some children with significant nighttime breathing issues — like sleep apnea — actually are underweight due to the increased work of breathing, or due to obstructive food aversions related to the size of the tonsils.”
Tonsils and adenoids are often removed when they become enlarged and block the upper airway, leading to breathing difficulty.