Sleep Apnea

As you may be aware, after asking for a sleep study for what feels like months, in January Harry was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. I had absolutely no idea what this was or any questions that we should ask about it so, while we are awaiting his ENT appointment in Cambridge I decided to do a little research.

What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is the phrase or name used to describe the condition in which a person stops, or has interrupted breathing in their sleep. In serious cases, this can happen hundreds of times a night and this means that the body, and more importantly, the brain will not be receiving enough oxygen, causing health issues.
There are two different types of Sleep apnea; Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and Central sleep apnea (CSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is when the airways are blocked while the person is sleeping, usually by the adenoids or tonsils, or is blocked when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses, again blocking the airways. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea
This type of sleep apnea is less common but much more serious. This is where the brain doesn't signal the muscles to do what they need to in order to breathe. This is usually caused by an instability in the respiratory control centre.

We are very lucky in the way that Harry has OSA and this is easier to treat. After seeing an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist in Cambridge we found that Harry's sleep apnea is more than likely caused by the fact he has Rhinitis, which is an irritation or inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose, which explains why Harry always has a runny nose! So we are trying a steriod nasal spray to see if that helps any.

We will, of course, keep you updated!



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