This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Clinical features

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Clinical features differ from the adult form of the condition.

  • while daytime sleepiness and snoring are predominant features in adult OSA, in children tiredness is not a prominent symptom (1).

Symptoms and signs of OSAS in children include (nocturnal and diurnal):

  • frequent snoring (>=3 nights/wk)
  • labored breathing during sleep
  • gasps/snorting noises/observed episodes of apnea
  • sleep enuresis (especially secondary enuresis) - enuresis after at least 6 months of continence
  • sleeping in a seated position or with the neck hyperextended
  • cyanosis
  • headaches on awakening
  • daytime sleepiness
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • learning problems

Physical examination:

  • underweight or overweight
  • tonsillar hypertrophy
  • adenoidal facies
  • micrognathia/retrognathia
  • high-arched palate
  • failure to thrive
  • cor pulmonale or pulmonary hypertension - in severe cases


(1) Powell S et al. Paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea. BMJ. 2010;340:c1918

(2) Marcus CL et al. Diagnosis and management of childhood obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Pediatrics. 2012;130(3):e714-55.

(3) Giuca MR, et al. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: Emerging Evidence and Treatment Approach. ScientificWorldJournal. 2021 Apr 23;2021:5591251.

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.