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Gasping for air during sleep

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My 4 year old grandson has been gasping for air during early sleep the last 8 nights in a row. He was propped up and 1/2 of the time had not eaten the last hour before bed.He does and a slight cough, no runny nose or weezing. Has history of bronchitis, colds, deep wraspy coughs and runny noises but not currenly.He uses an inhaler before bed. He doesn't just wake up gasping, it last for a long time sometimes. He stuggles to take in air through his mouth, gasping until he belches air and then he goes right back to sleep. He has thrown up small amounts of discharge and/or mucus a couple of the nights.

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replied December 1st, 2010
Kids Health and Pediatrics Answer A17504
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the symptoms of gasping for air in your 4 year old grandson during early sleep for the last 8 nights.
Your child might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.As air flow stops during a sleep apnea episode, the oxygen level in the blood drops. The brain responds by briefly disturbing the sleep enough to kickstart breathing—which often resumes with a gasp or a choking sound.The risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea esp. in children include certain physical attributes, such as having a thick neck, deviated septum, receding chin, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Allergies or other medical conditions that lead to nasal congestion and blockage can also contribute to sleep apnea.
You must consult your pediatrician for the definitive diagnosis and treatment as the same cannot be made online.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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