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sleep apnoea...what is it

(15 Posts)
jojohay Sat 09-Apr-05 21:30:13

does my four year old dd have it? She always wakes up grumpy, has tonsils the size of Everest and snores like my husband!!

bluebear Sat 09-Apr-05 21:37:59

I would say it is possible - and you might need to push your GP hard for a referral to ENT.

My ds had it - never slept through- and found it difficult to nap during day - would wake distressed at least every 2 hours at night...was grumpy miserable and stroppy (worse than terrible two's behavioiur) during the day...snoring also a big sign.

He also had enlarged adenoids (tonsils were huge), and was finally referred for an op. to remove tonsils, and adenoids and put in grommets (adenoids were obstructing eustachian tube giving him severe hearing loss due to chronic glue ear) - It was only acted on because he had speech delay (due to the hearing loss)

We pointed out the large tonsils and poor sleep (and also inability to eat certain food, like bread, which balls up in the mouth) to different GPs and got no-where.

The ENT consultant we finally saw said that we could have an apnoea test - the community team come to your house and put a monitor on your child to find out if their oxygen levels drop during the night - they didn't bother testing ds because it was pretty obvious he had it.

After the post-op swelling went down, he started sleeping through at last - and we can no longer hear him breathing/snoring from the bottom of the stairs.

hub2dee Sat 09-Apr-05 21:59:16

Wow. Sounds like a good end-result bluebear.

bluebear Sat 09-Apr-05 22:09:18

It was fantastic H2D - absolutely life-changing.. he's only a normal little monster now

WideWebWitch Sun 10-Apr-05 11:40:21

I don't think it's common in children. It's usually in overweight smokers I think but I'm not an expert - my dad had it altohugh he wasn't overweight (was a smoker). He had to go to a sleep clinic for a diagnosis, where they established that he was waking hundreds of times a night but not being aware of it. He was knackered but didn't know he was iyswim or why. I'd go to the GP too.

maddiemo Sun 10-Apr-05 11:59:19

Jojohay. i would be very interested in how you get on.

My ds3 has suspected sleep apnoea. We are under ENT and I have an appointment in June. My son has severley disrupted sleep and is very tired in the day. At school he is almost unteachable due to tiredness. In his case the problems is his nose and face{no cartilage and facial hypoplasia}.

blubear How did you know your ds had apnoea? We have been sent away by ENT with sprays to clear nose and instrcutions to watch him sleeping and report back in three months.
Ds is a snorer and sometimes seems to do a inward breath snore and then not an outward for a some time. He has severe sleep problems and is very distubed in the night.

hub2dee Sun 10-Apr-05 18:14:27

maddiemo - that breath pattern sounds very much like the apnoea I saw in a documentary on the subject a few months ago... you might like to mention it to the GP and see if a referral to a sleep clinic is called for...

expatkat Sun 10-Apr-05 18:52:48

Probably. You should ask your gp to send you to an ENT or an allergist. They'll probably give your 4-yr-old an MRI to check size of adnoids and state of sinuses. What you're describing sounds like classic enlarged adenoids/sleep apnoea. My ds has it (he's 5) and we're finally getting it sorted out. We're trying a nasal steroid at the moment; if that doesn't work, we'll move on to surgery. Good diagnosis on your part, jojohay.

maddiemo Sun 10-Apr-05 18:53:21

Thanks hub2dee. I am finding it hard to know what exactly I am looking for. He is already under ENT so will ask for further help at next appointment. He is also under community paed so could ask him for advice.

bluebear Sun 10-Apr-05 19:12:20

Maddiemo - Ds slept in our room and was obviously disturbed during sleep - he did the snore then stop breathing thing, and then every couple of hours he would stop breathing to the point of waking himself up gasping.
He saw an ENT consultant due to his hearing problems, the consultant did an 'impersonation' of the breathing pattern (snorty snore plus breath holding) to which dh and I went 'that's it!) They were going to organise a O2 monitor but due to the severity of his other problems he ended up on the urgent op. list before that could happen.

bluebear Sun 10-Apr-05 19:13:43

And he had had the nasal spray from the GP (who thought we were being over-fussy parents) - it didn't help at all - his nose was perm. bunged up due to his enlarged adenoid.

maddiemo Sun 10-Apr-05 19:35:35

bluebear That does sound very similar to how my ds is. Do you know if there is any treatment other than surgery? Our sons problems are nose and face related and we already know that he will have to have an operation to build his nose and help with breathing generally. However this op cannot be carried out until he is in his mid teens and he is only six now!

Jojohay Sorry for hijack.

bluebear Sun 10-Apr-05 19:43:04

Sorry Maddiemo - I don't know - I have heard of adult sufferers having oxygen masks for sleep with the pressure of the gas going in keeping the airway open..but I don't know if they do that for children.

In our case ds needed the surgery so he could hear, eat and speak so curing the sleep apnea was a bonus.

(((hugs))) to you and to jojohay though - dealing with an overtired child day in - day out - is so draining.

maddiemo Sun 10-Apr-05 19:50:44

Thaanks bluebear. Think I will have to be a bit more pushy at next appointment. Nose spray does not seem to be making much difference.

jojohay Mon 11-Apr-05 19:54:27

Hi thanks everyone!!! no problem for hijack! It's just really interesting to hear your stories,,,,, Definitely gonna press GP further,,, and maybe find a sleep clinic.... will let you know!!!

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