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Involuntary sharp breath intake - hold - relaease pattern

My now ten year old from as young as 6 weeks, experiences periods, typically 12-24 hours, now almost exclusively while sleeping, but when younger, while awake, where she involuntarily takes a shrp breath in, holds it and cannot exhale, and then slowly deflates.  When she was an infant and toddler, her arms flailed with each spasm-like breath.  As an infant she had a sleep-deprvied eeg, an mri or cat scan and ekg study done, but never while her "hoops" as we call them were occurring.  The neurologist that our pediatrician sent us to ruled out infantile spasms, which is what our home video looked like.  Since no one had any idea what it was and she was meeting milestones, we took a wait and see attitude.  Now she is 10, and this still occurs occasionally while she sleeps.  When she first wakes up in continues for an hour or so.  She says it hurts; she says it is like her breathing is stuck.  And, when she began running track a few weeks ago, we saw an increase in frequency.  In fact, while trying to race a quarter mile, she (having previously run much further, but in a more leisurely manner) had to stop, sobbing - she explained that it felt like her hoops and her breathing locked up and hurt and she couldn't breathe in or out.  Maybe all of this is just what it is, but I worry that something is taxing her system and could be causing damage slowly over time to her heart or lungs.  Can you offer any advice on how we can proceed to identify what this is and how it might be effecting her?  So much thanks!    

This discussion is related to Involuntary Breathing Spasms - Child.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
My "hiccup/gasps" sometimes prevent me from exhaling for a few seconds, like it's stuck, but it doesn't hurt.
180749 tn?1443595232
Let her do this pranayam everyday and the breathing imbalance will gradually improve.Start today and do it with her and you will appreciate the benefit.You will notice a difference in 3 weeks, but do not stop the pranayam before 6 months. Your feedback at each stage of progress is very important.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.

Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.

Bhramri Pranayam -Close eyes. Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three fingers on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in through nose. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 5 to 21  times.
Avatar universal
My daughter has been having these since she was 3 weeks old, I tended to happen if she got upset and at 7 years old is still happening, mostly exclusively in her sleep also, the drs etc do not know what it is but somehow reassured me that it's not life threatening...I am worried about it, and the impact it may have in her physically & mentally as she gets older. When u searched for information on the web when she was an infant there was no information on it, not anyone who seemed to have posted anything on it...but if seems there are others with the same problem which is reassuring...but there still doesn't seem to be any answers....I have been up with her all night due to her having these episodes all night, this time for no reason, but they have interrupted her sleep the entire night and won't be attending school today. They will stay when she wakes but they will gradually wear off after an hour or two...anyone have any further information on this? .....
Avatar universal
Hi, my daughter, almost 3 yrs, experiences the same thing.  Just reading and researching bc most Dr's weve been too do not now what it is.  Have you found any answers yet? My daughter started these episodes at 3 months and they have not improved.  We've had her checked for seizures and sent to a pulmonologist.  No luck yet! It really bothers me and I'm always looking for answers.
555858 tn?1331988381
Have you checked for possible allergies, esp. food? I'm pretty sure that my two son's episodes were related to their milk protein allergy. As soon as they outgrew the milk allergy, the involuntary breathing spasms stopped.

Also, is it possible your daughter has silent reflux? The acid backing up in the throat can cause it to close suddenly and involuntarily.
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