The study involved 24 children from the ages of 2 to 12 years old, with sleep apnea. The children were divided into two groups. About half of the children received doses of the nasal spray once a day for two weeks prior to surgery. The control group did not use the nasal spray.
After children in both groups had their adenoids and tonsils surgically removed, the researchers examined the adenoids. While all of the adenoids weighed about the same, the treatment group had lower levels of the inflammatory cell protein IL-6. The cell protein has been linked to the development of sleep apnea.
In the study’s conclusion, the authors stated that steroid nasal spray could potentially be part of future pediatric sleep apnea treatments. The findings support previous research that found nasal fluticasone reduced the frequency of breathing pauses in children with obstructive sleep apnea in children.
The research is still in its early phases and parents should be aware that steroid nasal sprays are not a recognized obstructive sleep apnea treatment for children. The standard treatments include surgery, CPAP and weight loss. Some children with sleep apnea may benefit from wearing an oral appliance during sleep.