I took Camden back to the ENT this week to review the results of his sleep study. The only reason I took him for the study in the first place was because I knew he needed his tonsils removed. The doctor was hesitant because of his age and needed more validation than mom witnessing him stop breathing at night.
I wasn't ever scared when I saw him stop breathing at night, mostly just irritated that his tonsils were big and he'd probably need surgery. I figured his interrupted sleep was just as irritating for him as it was for me. But after reviewing the results with his physician I felt very selfish.
The doctor rated Camden's sleep apnea 9 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst.
The word apnea comes from the Greek word meaning "without wind." Although it's perfectly normal for everyone to experience occasional pauses in breathing, apnea can be a problem when breathing stops for 20 seconds or longer. There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed.
Obstructive apnea is common in children and is caused by an obstruction of the airway(IE: enlarged tonsils or adenoids).
Central apnea occurs when the part of the brain which controls breathing doesn't start or properly maintain the breathing process. Central apnea is the least common form of apnea and often has a neurological cause.
Mixed apnea is a combination of the two and is what the results from Camden's test showed.
35 times throughout Camden's 7 hours of sleep he had obstructive apnea. And 37 times central apnea occurred. Both of which had episodes where his oxygen decreased significantly.
This was eye opening for me! It now makes sense why Camden doesn't wake up feeling rested, he can't get a good nights sleep. It validates my thinking as to why he is so ornery during the day. It makes sense as to why he has been holding his head and saying "owie", a lack of oxygen can surely cause a headache. It's no wonder he falls asleep every time we get in the car, or when he is forced to sit still, he's exhausted.
We are scheduling surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids which takes care of the obstructive apnea. They can't be positive this will decrease the central apnea, but we can always hope. After that is done he will need another sleep study to determine the severity of his central apnea. And if needs be, he will be referred to a sleep specialist for other treatment.
His doctor said he doesn't make guarantees but he can almost guarantee we will see a significant change in his behavior. And "Google" said sleep apnea is increasingly being recognized as a cause of daytime attentional and behavioral problems. So what can I blame it on after his tonsils are removed?