What is the role of CPAP in childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment?

Updated: Feb 13, 2019
  • Author: Mary E Cataletto, MD; Chief Editor: Denise Serebrisky, MD  more...
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CPAP is the mainstay of therapy for most adults with OSA, as well as a large number of children and adolescents. However, it is often difficult for children to adhere to the therapy regimen.

CPAP devices can be uncomfortable and inappropriately fitting masks can leak, leading to the development of pressure sores on the bridge of the nose. Air leaks can also irritate the conjunctiva, causing increased lacrimation and eye discomfort. Also, midfacial hypoplasia may develop with long-term use, particularly in children with neuromuscular weakness.

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

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