Sleep Apnea not uncommon in children - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Sleep apnea not uncommon in children

A playful three-year-old named Kyrea Moss was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh! There is something terribly wrong with my child,'" said Katiland Moss, Kyrea's mom.

"The seriousness of this disease can't be overstated," said Dr. Raymond Perkins, the medical director of ETMC Sleep Disorder Center.

Dr. Perkins says the silent disease, usually associated with adults, can effect children.

Sleep Apnea is when a child or adult stops or pauses breathing during sleep - a potentially life-threatening disease.

"You are thinking, 'Oh my gosh! My child is not breathing at night,'" said Moss.

She says her daughter started snoring when she was just six months old. "It sounded like a bear in the house," said Moss. "I expected to hear something like that out of my grandfather, not out of my six month old baby's mouth!"

The toddler would constantly wake up with a sinus infection and a runny nose. "It was horrible," said Moss. "It was like she had a cold 24/7."

Doctors say snoring along with stunted growth and hyper-activity are signs of Sleep Apnea in children. "It was like she ate a whole bag of sugar and was bouncing off the walls," said Moss.

She decided to take her daughter in for a sleep study. Doctors attached sensors all over the toddler's body and monitored her while she slept. "The lady told me that she had Sleep Apnea and she needed to have her tonsils out to increase her breathing," said Moss.

Doctors say removing a child's tonsils frees the airway. It is a common treatment for Sleep Apnea in children.

"[There is] no more snoring," said Moss. "It's peaceful at night. The dogs aren't barking. We are good!"

It was a minor surgery leaving Kyrea and the rest of her family sleeping sound.

Moss says her daughter is still hyper, but she has not had a single runny nose or cold since the sleep study and surgery.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.