The surgical removal of tonsils and adenoid tissue helps improve sleep and quality of life for children who have obstructive sleep apnea, researchers report.

"Children who underwent adenotonsillectomy had significant improvements in quality of life scores," say researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Their study looked at 31 children diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which people awake repeatedly during the night due to blocked airways. Doctors recommend adenotonsillectomy to help treat the problem in the children.

Of the 29 children assessed six months later, 24 had undergone surgery and five had not had surgery. The researchers compared the two groups' quality of life and readings from a polysomnogram, a machine that measures sleep quality.

There were significantly larger improvements in the quality of life in children who underwent surgery compared with those who did not have surgery, report the researchers. Sleep quality improvements continued for at least one year after surgery.

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