Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sleep Apnea

Yesterday, we went to Arkansas Children's Hospital for Anthony's ENT appointment. Anthony has huge tonsils and adenoids, and even though he is not chronically sick with sore throats, the doctor told us it would be in his best interest to have his tonsils and adenoids taken out because of obstructive sleep apnea and the medical problems that can come as a result of it. Anthony will be having the surgery on August 14 and they will keep him in the hospital for 24 hours because of his age. I am not looking forward to my baby having surgery, but the staff at Children's Hospital are wonderful, and it should make a big difference in his life. So what exactly is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The main reason for removing a child's tonsils and adenoids used to be chronic sore throat, but now OSA is the leading cause of this surgery. Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea may have symptoms that include: continuous loud snoring, failure to thrive (weight loss or poor weight gain) mouth breathing, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, problems sleeping or restless sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and daytime cognitive and behavior problems. Children suspected of having OSA should be evaluated by a Pediatric ENT specialist. Treatments may include: weight loss for overweight children with OSA, allergy evaluation and treatment, and removal of tonsils and adenoids. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can cause a lot of complications including: poor growth, head-aches, high blood pressure, and other heart and lung problems. Children with Down Syndrome are at a high risk for OSA. Sleep problems are now being recognized as a main cause of daytime school and behavior problems. So if your child is having problems concentrating during the day, or is having problems with his behavior and he snores loudly it may be a problem with OSA.

Anthony has had problems sleeping as long as I can remember. At almost 3 years old he still does not sleep through the night and he is very restless in his sleep. He snores very loudly, often pausing in his breathing and can not breathe through his mouth. He actually makes snoring noises when he is awake and often acts very sleepy by early evening even though he still takes a nap. He also sounds like he has a rock in his throat when he is trying to talk and it can make him difficult to understand. The recovery time for the surgery varies with each child, but is usually 7 days to two weeks. It is my prayer that Anthony does well during the surgery and has an easy recovery with very little pain, and I would appreciate all of your prayers also.
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