Wed, 19 Mar 2003

Snoring vs sleep apnea

Dear Dr. Donya,

I was relieved to read your article in The Jakarta Post on children who snore as I believe I have found the answer to my six-year-old son's snoring problem.

The problem first appeared when Albert was about three years old. Upon the recommendation of an otolaryngologist, his tonsils and adenoids were removed at the age of three and a half.

However, the snoring problem recurred and in fact, it was getting worse. Upon the suggestion of another otolaryngologist, Albert underwent another adenoidectomy and had his sinuses cleaned about five months ago.

As Albert sleeps with me, I have noticed that he still snores but not as bad as before his second surgery. His snoring gets worse every time he catches a cold. We also do our best at home and at school to prevent him from becoming allergic to dust mites.

I am interested to know if you would suggest that he use a nasal mask. Could you advise us more on this?

-- Thomas

Dear Mr. Tan,

Nasal masks (CPAP) are recommended for a person with obstructive sleep apnea, but not for a person who snores. I am not sure if your son needs a CPAP. If you suspect your son has sleep apnea, take him to see a lung specialist. I am sure there are many doctors in Jakarta who can determine his condition through testing. Thank you for your letter and interest.

-- Dr. Donya