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Experts deliberate the consequences of untreated sleep apnoea in children in the UAE

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2014-04-08 15:08:56 - Paediatric sleep apnoea key discussion topic at ME-OTO 2014

Dubai, UAE: Obesity is known to be one of the contributing factors in sleep apnea. Unfortunately, in the UAE, this does not exclude children. Due to the alarming number of children now known to be suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), this is the main driving force behind educational campaigns around the condition.

Dr Stacey Ishman from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, USA, and Dr Michael Oko from the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust & Department of Health, UK, will be discussing the incidence of sleep apnoea in children and how the condition should be managed at the 11th Middle East Update in Otolaryngology Conference & Exhibition - Head and Neck Surgery (ME-OTO) from the 20-22 April 2014 at the

Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Dubai, UAE.

“OSA is still a massive emerging issue in the UAE along with rising obesity levels; the UAE needs a body like NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) to recommend with authority clinically effective treatments for its own population. Education about health should start in schools with advice about diet and exercise,” says Dr Oko.

Experts suggest that children suffering from OSA may not produce enough growth hormone, resulting in abnormally slow growth and development. It may also cause the body to have increased resistance to insulin or daytime fatigue with decreases in physical activity. These factors can contribute to obesity. The condition can be associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure or other heart and lung problems.

“Children suffering from sleep apnoea will exhibit behaviour such as hyperactivity, decreased focus and concentration and lowered executive function; these are just the short term effects. In the long run they may suffer from diminished intelligent quotient (IQ) and school performance,” says Dr Ishman.

Some of the potential long term effects of untreated paediatric sleep disorder breathing is that children develop loud snoring, moody, inattentive, and disruptive behavior both at home and at school. Sleep disorder breathing can also be a contributing factor to attention deficit disorders in some children and increased nighttime urine production, which may lead to bedwetting.

According to Dr Ishman,” As far as treatment options are concerned, similar to children who have healthy weight, obese children often undergo adenotonsillectomy as first-line treatment which is quite effective. In addition, weight loss is often necessary to fully treat the OSA. If these measures are not adequate, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and extended surgery – similar to some adult surgery procedures – are considered.”

Running alongside the ME-OTO conference is an exhibition with more than 57 exhibitors showcasing the latest technologies and product launches from manufacturers and distributors from 16 countries within the ENT field. Products such as hearing aids, laser machines, microsurgical instruments and sleep apnoea devices will be on display from companies such as Karl Storz, Olympus and Oticon.


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