Sleep Apnea Clinic
The Cincinnati Children's Sleep Apnea Clinic helps children who have breathing problems while they sleep (sleep-disordered breathing). These problems can stem from issues with large tonsils and the throat muscles or a neurological condition.
Our clinic includes pediatric pulmonologists; neurologists; and ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors who all specialize in treating sleep apnea and sleep disorders. We work together to find the source of your child’s breathing problems and collaborate on a treatment plan.
At Cincinnati Children's, we offer:
- Access to a wide range of experts from different specialties within our Sleep Center, which helps us provide more comprehensive treatment for your child
- Personalized treatment plans tailored to your child's specific needs
- Simplified and coordinated care, so you don't have to worry about managing appointments and specialist schedules
- Treatment for complex sleep apnea cases through our Complex Obstructive Sleep Apnea Center
Conditions We Treat
The Sleep Apnea Clinic can treat all types of sleep apnea. We treat simple cases and complex conditions, including:
- Central sleep apnea
- Complex obstructive sleep apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
If your child has complex obstructive sleep apnea, we will work with the team at our Complex Obstructive Sleep Apnea Center to develop a treatment plan.
Sleep apnea causes breathing problems while a child is sleeping. This can make it difficult for a child to get a good night’s sleep. Enlarged tonsils (tonsillar hypertrophy) often cause these breathing problems. Breathing issues can also stem from medical conditions, such as:
- Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS)
- Craniofacial abnormalities, such as cleft palate
- Down syndrome
- Neuromuscular conditions, such as muscular dystrophy
Our Treatment Approach
We take a personalized approach to every patient. Our team will create a treatment plan that's tailored to your child's unique needs.
At the Sleep Apnea Clinic, you and your child will meet with a doctor or an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) who specializes in sleep medicine. During the evaluation, we’ll review your child’s health history and symptoms. At the end of this appointment, we may recommend a treatment plan. In some cases, we may ask your child to do some more tests, such as sleep studies, before deciding on a treatment.
The treatment approach will depend on your child’s symptoms and individual needs. Treatment may include:
- Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP™)
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
- Ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery, such as a tonsillectomy
- Medicine, such as nasal steroids
Depending on your child’s diagnosis and treatment plan, we’ll collaborate with different specialists at the Sleep Center. This helps make sure your child receives the most comprehensive, effective treatment. In some cases, this may mean referring your child to one of our other sleep clinics, such as the CPAP Clinic or the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic.
What to Expect
If your child has a sleep problem, your pediatrician may refer you to our Sleep Center for treatment. You can also contact our Sleep Center for a referral.
Once you're referred to the Sleep Center, we'll ask you to fill out an online questionnaire. This form will help us understand your child's health history and symptoms, so we know which specialists are best suited to treat your child.
Before your first visit to the Sleep Apnea Clinic, we’ll have you fill out another short survey about your child’s sleep symptoms. This survey will help us personalize the evaluation and treatment approach. We’ll have you fill out this same survey before each visit to help track your child’s progress.
During your first visit, you'll meet with a doctor or an ARNP who specializes in sleep medicine. We’ll ask about your child’s medical and sleep history. We may recommend an overnight sleep study, which records your child’s breathing during sleep. The type of sleep study we recommend will depend on your child’s symptoms. Your child will stay overnight at our Sleep Laboratory for the sleep study.
After the evaluation and testing, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan for your child. Then, we’ll work with you to schedule follow-up appointments as needed. Depending on your child’s condition and treatment plan, we may refer your child to another sleep clinic in our Sleep Center.
If your child’s sleep apnea doesn’t respond to our initial treatment plan, we may also refer you to our Complex Obstructive Sleep Apnea Center.
If we refer your child to another sleep clinic, we’ll coordinate all communication and appointments for you. Our goal is to make sure your treatment experience is as easy and seamless as possible.
If another doctor or pediatrician referred you to the center, our team will communicate with them throughout the process. This will help make sure your home doctor can stay informed about your child's progress and help manage any follow-up care, if needed.
If your family is traveling from out of town, we also provide concierge services and other resources.
Meet the Team
This clinic features doctors and nurses who specialize in sleep disorders. All of our doctors specialize in sleep medicine.
Locations and Directions
Families can reach out to the Sleep Center for more information by filling out our online form.
All appointments are by provider referral. Providers can refer a patient to the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic by contacting us.