A new study identifies a simple, noninvasive test that can be performed while children are awake to help recognize youngsters with sleep-disordered breathing. Experts use the term "sleep disordered breathing" to describe a group of disorders involving pauses in breathing or poor ventilation during sleep. The researchers evaluated 247 children between the ages of 4 and 16 who snored. They measured the kid's upper airway cross-sectional area. Prior to the procedure, the children were given a topical anesthetic in the upper airway. It relaxes local reflexes that stimulate airway openness when an individual is awake.
The results of the study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care (January 2004), showed that children with sleepdisordered breathing had smaller airways and that both the upper airway collapsibility and sleep-disordered breathing severity were "markedly" and "significantly greater" in such children.