Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Updated on March 25, 2010
E.H. asks from Waterville, ME
9 answers

My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids removed when she was three years old. She is now 7 and still snores and suffers from sleep apnea. We still see a ENT, but he doesn't ever say exactly why. He just says, "See you in six months." I really want to know is she always going to snore and suffer from sleep apnea? What else can we do to fix this? Is anybody else out there going through this?

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So What Happened?

She does not have a CPAP machine and he has never said that she needs one. She is not overweight either. She is tall and thin. (Loves to play basketball :) ) She also wakes up in the morning not well rested. We have seen the dentist who hasn't mentioned anything about a mouth guard. He only recommends that she get sealants on her molars. HELP!!! I am worried about my daughter. Sometimes I lay next to her in her bed, and just listen to all the noises she makes...snoring, catching her breath when she stops breathing, etc. I feel so helpless.

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answers from Dallas on

Pediatric Sleep Institute
7000 W. Plano Pkwy #220
Plano, Texas 75093

Please call them today - they are wonderful and helped us with the same problem.

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answers from Boston on

It kind of depends on what's causing the apnea. If it is obstructive, it could be alleviated through a nutritional supplement that reduces the swelling in the tissues in the mouth & nose. I know a lot of parents who've had good results with that. It's a food, not a drug. It actually might have prevented her from having her tonsils and adenoids out - I hate that doctors throw us into a surgical procedure right off.

I've had great results myself and although I have been on a CPAP machine for years, I am getting close to getting rid of it, just through nutrition!

A doctor cannot decide if she needs a CPAP without putting her thru a sleep study. I've done this and I wouldn't recommend it for a young child if you don't have to.

Obstructive sleep apnea interrupts her sleep but it is not dangerous - don't panic that she won't start breathing again. The problem is that, over time, she will be chronically exhausted and have all the problems associated with that.

There is a minor outpatient procedure that I saw done on "The Doctors" that inserts something into the soft tissues in the roof of the mouth (way back) and lifts them so that the snoring/breathing obstruction stops. Still, you might want to look at something less invasive. If you want to talk more about nutritional solutions, let me know.

If her apnea is neurological and caused by something in the brain, then it's a different issue. Only a sleep study will tell you this.



answers from Washington DC on

The short answer is probably yes. It depends on what the cause of the sleep apnea is. If the apnea is caused by the tongue dipping while she sleeps, then probably. If the apnea is caused by your child's weight, then probably no if your daughter drops a few pounds. Mind you, I don't know your daughter, I'm just saying.

Keeping that in mind, she should be re-evaluated every 1 - 2 years in a sleep study. Also, talk to her dentist about possibly getting a mouth guard for when sleeping. My dentist said that they are seeing a lot of connections between people who have sleep apnea and grinding of the teeth. Which makes sense, and could contribute to the apnea.




answers from Boston on

I second Kate C.'s suggestion to consult at Children's Hospital in Boston (if you live in the area). They have a Wellesly office too. My son visited with Dr. Menali Amin and she is great.

Even if you choose not to consult at Children's Hospital I do recommend getting a second opinion (or third or fourth as needed). Your current ENT does not seem to be giving the attention needed. Good luck!



answers from Providence on

I have sleep apnea which has been attributed to a too-long uvula. You should have her checked to see if that is the culprit. If so, that can be easily fixed by having some removed. I am flummoxed though as to why she is not on a CPAP machine. This will help her in the interim get some much needed rest. I agree with Kate and suggest you bring her care to the Children's Hospital specialists. I know how crappy restless sleep makes you feel. Good luck!



answers from New London on

I don't know about sleep apnew with kids but my husband has it. He never had anything done with it until we were married. Honestly, it's a huge problem but only I was pushy I could sleep to have him see someone. He actually had to do a sleep study. Has your daughter slept over anywhere? You should be able to stay with her there. He slept regularly the first half of the night where they could do a reading of how often he stopped breathing though a period of time. For him it was litterally 60X in an hour. Then the 2nd half of the night, they hooked him up to the sleep apnea machines to see how it helped. All it does is pump air at them, like an oxygen mask. It is a bit of getting use to but once your are use to it, you can't sleep without it.
Your daughter should have this study done. Honestly, I'm fed up with DRs who don't explain things to parents or the patients in terms they understand. We go to them because we are worried, so they need to keep us informed on what's happening. I would say, call, ask and push for a sleep study.



answers from Pittsburgh on

How is he treating the sleep apnea? Does she have a CPAP machine?



answers from Burlington on

Hi E.,

I get it with my hay fever. If it's all the time that she has it, she could be allergic to something in her diet.

Good luck,
: ) Maureen

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