Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a medical condition that involves breathing difficulties in children when they are asleep. When we fall asleep, our muscles relax. This includes muscles in the upper airway, which can become either partly or totally blocked by the adenoids and tonsils in sleeping children. You may notice snoring and pauses in your child’s breathing while they are asleep.
Snoring in children is quite common – about 15 to 20 per cent of children snore. OSA is less common and only affects about two to three per cent of children.
OSA disrupts sleep. Sometimes, the only problems that a child with OSA may show are difficulties with paying attention, tiredness in the day, general hyperactivity, behavioural problems and learning difficulties.