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Why does my daughter breathe heavily?

Q: My 5 years old daughter has been breathing heavily for the last few months and snores occasionally too. Does she have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)? The doctors say that she has developed adenoids and the tonsils need to be removed. But this will not help in the breathing problem. They also say that children outgrow adenoids, which can be left unattended without any risk to their health. But I am still worried if this could cause any other problem? She doesn't cry but does wake up with a breathing problem occasionally. The breathing is much louder than that of an adult. She is not overweight (she weighs 20 kg) and is otherwise an active child. Please advise.

A:There is a possibility that she might have obstructive sleep apnoea - only way to confirm and assess the severity is to get an overnight sleep study (polysomnogram). Depending upon the presence and severity, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy may or may not be recommended. An additional factor to consider is that tonsillectomy has a relatively high rate of complications. Therefore, I suggest to proceed with caution. Most important first step would be to get the sleep study and get examined by a physician specialising in sleep.


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