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What is the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children?

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In children, causes of obstructive sleep apnea often include enlarged tonsils or adenoids, and dental conditions such as a large overbite. Less common causes include a tumor or growth in the airway, and birth defects such as Down syndrome and Pierre-Robin syndrome. Down Syndrome causes enlargement of the tongue, adenoids and tonsils and there is decreased muscle tone in the upper airway. Pierre-Robin syndrome actually has a small lower jaw and the tongue tends to ball up and fall to the back of the throat. Although childhood obesity may cause obstructive sleep apnea, it's much less commonly associated with the condition than adult obesity.

SOURCES:

Merck Manual Second Home Edition: “Sleep Apnea.”

Merck Manual Professional Edition: “Obstructive Sleep Apnea.”

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: “Sleep Apnea.”

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford: “Obstructive Sleep Apnea.”

Lee, W. , June 1, 2008. Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 24, 2017

SOURCES:

Merck Manual Second Home Edition: “Sleep Apnea.”

Merck Manual Professional Edition: “Obstructive Sleep Apnea.”

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: “Sleep Apnea.”

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford: “Obstructive Sleep Apnea.”

Lee, W. , June 1, 2008. Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 24, 2017

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What can untreated obstructive sleep apnea lead to?

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