Questions re: Childhood Sleep Apnea

Does anyone have any on-line resources regarding sleep apnea in kids? Specifically, I’m wondering if there is a form of apnea that is not obstructive sleep apnea. As I understand it, obstructive sleep apnea results from a narrowing of the air passage, frequently caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Usually this condition is accompanied by rasping breath, snoring, etc. I don’t think I’m looking at that condition.

In our case, our daughter (who is 4 years old) has already had a Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy (“T&A” snicker snicker – why couldn’t they have called it an A&T?), and does not seem to be suffering from a narrowed passageway. She is also not presently sick/snotty (a miracle in itself this time of year). My wife and I watched her this morning and her normal breathing pattern is to take two LARGE breaths, then STOP BREATHING for 5 - 8 seconds. It’s like her brain just forgets to breathe until it really needs to. (She’s so smart, maybe that’s just a more efficient way to breathe. :slight_smile: )

Although I’m not looking for any form of a diagnosis, and will in no way rely on anything posted here, here’s a little more info. in case it is helpful. Patient is a 4 year old female with a history of ENT issues. She had recurring ear infections from about age 1 – age 2.5. At that time, she had ear tubes inserted which completely cleared the infections and we’ve had little recurrence since although the tubes came out on their own as expected. She had the T&A at least 6 months ago. Prior to the T&A, 3-4 times a week her apnea would cause her to have severe coughing fits that would usually result in her vomiting. The T&A has halted that particular problem thank god. She doesn’t show any of the common signs of apnea like tiredness, failure to thrive, or slow development (physically or mentally) but there is definitely something going on. A person should breathe continuously, not just when it suits them.

/Homer Simpson/
“In this house we obey the laws of breathing!"

Many people don’t breathe in a strictly regular pattern. You may be noticing her normal breathing pattern.
That said, here is one interesting article on apnea in children. It may not address your child, in fact, it only way your child’s breathing pattern can be properly assessed is by her healthcare provider.
If you’re concerned, please, ask her provider to do a workup.

Yeah, we’ll be talking to her doctor. She has her 4 year old well child visit in about a week and we’ll bring it up then.

That was an interesting article. It at least told me that the term I’m looking for is Central Apnea.

Maybe you’re right, maybe it is her normal pattern; she certainly isn’t pausing for 20 seconds (!) as mentioned in that article. But her mother, her sister and I all breathe normally damnit!