LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A sleep disorder often afflicting adults is now waking up kids, too.
Sleep apnea causes a person to struggle to breathe while sleeping. Common symptons include snoring, labored breathing and then sudden lapses in breathing altogether, before the person suddenly wakes up, gasping for air.
Jennifer Komsky was well aware that her 4-year-old Barrie was a heavy breather, even as a baby.
“You could hear her breathing no matter what room she was in,” Komsky said of her daughter.
But besides struggling to breathe when she ran, Barrie snored loudly and woke up crying in the middle of the night. The pediatrician recommended Komsky monitor her daughter’s breathing while she slept. What she discovered shocked her.
Komsky could hear her daughter gasping for air. At times, she stopped breathing for 10 seconds.
“It was a rude awakening and we discovered she had very severe sleep apnea.”
Komsky followed a doctor’s advice and had Barrie’s tonsils removed. Many parents are electing to do the same after their children are diagnosed with sleep apnea. A less-invasive method is to sleep with an oxygen mask.
Komsky said her daughter has been sleeping like a baby ever since.
“I gave my child a gift and I think I gave myself a gift,” Komsky said.