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Sleep apnea in kids questions.


StaceyinLA
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If you had a child who was having sleep apnea episodes, what would you do? Is there a way to monitor during sleep and see how often this was happening, and if it was detrimental?

 

My 4yo granddaughter has large tonsils. They've never been infected or anything and the ENT basically said he'll take them out if they're causing her issues, but dd really doesn't want to do it unless it is absolutely necessary. She does snore, and when she talks it sounds like she has cotton in her throat (and she isn't sick). We know that can be from her large tonsils.

 

However, I'm not sure if the sleep apnea is related to the large tonsils, or could just be a coincidence. Either way, it scares me and I'm trying to help dd figure out the best way to approach getting this checked out more thoroughly.

 

Any advice?

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She can get a sleep study done. I thought adenoids were more related to sleep apnea, but it's been years since I researched it. My son had huge adenoids and kept getting strep. DS also snored like an old man and had mild sleep apnea issues. Everything cleared up after a T&A (also no more night wetting!). The ENT and our ped didn't think a sleep study was necessary because he had multiple issues. If he had continued having apnea after the surgery, they would have ordered one.  

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My DS2 had horrible sleep, he was still waking every 45 minutes at 3 years old. (I had a newborn at the time who slept better than he did!) I didn't notice any signs of apnea, and the ENT said his tonsils and adenoids were enlarged but we weren't sure if they were causing any infections. He did snore a lot but never had any infections. The ENT referred him for a sleep study at the sleep lab at aa nearby children's hospital. The sleep study showed he was having 1-2 apnea episodes every hour, I never noticed even though he had slept with me most of his life. We decided to go ahead and have his tonsils and adenoids removed, I felt like I was at the end of my rope with the sleep issues. His sleep issues did improve afterward.

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She has never had an infection at all. It's so strange.

 

Who would do a sleep study? What type of doctor? This is a new area for me.

 

The pediatrician or ENT would be able to order one. The study is done by pulmonologists. Our children's hospital has a sleep clinic with pediatric pulmonologists. If the apnea winds up not being caused by the tonsils/adenoids, the pulmonologists would probably take over the care from there. 

 

Has she seen a pediatric ENT?

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Who would do a sleep study? What type of doctor? This is a new area for me.

 

For DH, his PCP referred him for the sleep study and a few weeks later a local sleep study/supplies company called him to set up an appointment. I don't know if things are different for children, but I'd just start with her PCP or ENT.

 

ETA: zoobie beat me to it!

Edited by avbprincess
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My ds had terrible sleep apnea when he was 2-3 years old.  He slept on his side, with his head thrown all the way back and his mouth wide open.  His throat would close and cut off his air, then he would gasp loudly to get breath, but a couple minutes later, he would close up again.  He also had a low grade infection that just wouldn't go away and frequent ear infections.  He was super skinny, and I was really worried about him.

 

I video taped him sleeping (our old HandiCam video camera had night vision capability), and showed it to an ear/nose/throat doctor.  She examined him and recommended a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.  

 

I had ds's sister along at the appointment.  The doctor asked if she had problems.  I told her that dd didn't have sleep apnea issues, but that she snored loudly, and that she also had frequent severe ear infections.  The ENT recommended they both have the surgery.

 

The recovery was challenging, since I had both of them recovering at the same time.  But it was SO worth it.  Ds never had sleep apnea again, and neither of them ever had another ear infection.  

 

 

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My 13yo had a sleep study done because her tonsils and adenoids looked fine. She had moderate to severe sleep apnea that was cured after they came out. Two of my others had symptoms and ugly throats. The Ent recommended surgery for them without a sleep study because of family history and symptoms.

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