While common over-the-counter nasal sprays are mostly used to reduce allergy-related nasal inflammation, the prescription-only nasal spray Veramyst could potentially aid in another inflammation-related health concern: sleep apnea in children.
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by shallow breaths or pauses in breathing while sleeping. The most common form of this condition, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when an airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. Some research has found a link between obstructive sleep apnea and serum inflammatory markers, suggesting that inflammatory responses are involved in this sleep disorder.
|Regular breathing during sleep (left), and obstructed breathing with sleep apnea (right). Source: va.gov|
In a study from by the University of Chicago Medical Center, researchers tested the use of Veramyst (an intranasal corticosteroid) on children with obstructive sleep apnea. While the evidence was slightly inconclusive, the study suggests that Veramyst may reduce at least one marker of inflammation. Children who used the nasal spray had a reduction of cytokine IL-6, a natural substance that stimulates the body’s immune response and promotes inflammation.
The results of this study are in keeping with several previous studies on intranasal corticosteroid treatments which have shown some success at treating childhood sleep apnea.
Is Veramyst Right for Your Child?
If your child is struggling with sleep apnea, talk to a sleep specialist about treatment options, which may include medical devices as well as medications. You don’t want to run the risk of over-medicating your child, and it is never a good idea to start your child on any medical regimen without first talking to your doctor. As with all prescription drugs, Veramyst nasal spray comes with the risk of side effects, and it’s important to review your child’s medical history with his or her sleep doctor in order to determine the best course of treatment.
If your child has mild sleep apnea symptoms and your doctor doesn’t think the condition warrants the use of a CPAP machine, Veramyst could be the right choice.