Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nose spray reduces childhood apnea-linked inflammation

Early research shows certain steroid nasal sprays may help to reduce the inflammatory cell proteins in children that are linked to sleep apnea. A study included in the June of Archives of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery looked at how children who were due to have their adenoids and tonsils removed reacted to the drug fluticasone furoate.
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.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that about two percent of healthy young children have sleep apnea. The sleep disorder occurs when soft tissue in the back of throat collapses and blocks the airway during sleep.
Most children with sleep apnea have a history of loud snoring. This may include obvious pauses in breathing and gasps for breath. Parents often notice that the child seems to be working hard to breathe during sleep.
Read more about obstructive sleep apnea in children. Get help at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

Photo by: olaerik

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