How to Tell if Your Child's Snoring is Normal or a Sleep Disorder
Children are the most precious of all resources and their health and comfort are top priorities for any parent. It comes as no surprise that you may have questions about your child’s snoring and sleep habits.
Is snoring normal? Or is it harmful? At what point does it become a cause for serious concern? TrickyScribe compiled a list of the most common causes of snoring, symptoms of potential sleep disorders and treatment options available for your children.
Causes of Snoring in Children
Snoring is the sound caused by vibrations in the upper airways of the respiratory system due to obstructed air movement while sleeping. While your child’s gentle snores or little squeaks at night may sound cute, it is possible that their snoring may be a sign of a sleep disorder.
Respiratory Infection: If the child has a stuffy nose from a cold or allergies, it is likely that their snoring is caused by a blockage in the sinuses. This nasal blockage forces them to breathe through their mouth which can lead to snoring.
Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are leading causes of snoring in children and a strong indication of potential obstructive sleep apnea. The swollen glands aid in blocking the airways making it difficult for your child to breath comfortably through the night.
Deviated septum: Deviated septum occurs when the airway of the two nostrils is offset or displaced. This makes breathing through the nose more difficult as one nostril’s passage is smaller than the other, thereby reducing airflow and causing difficulty in breathing.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Around 3% of children between ages 1 and 9 years have OSA. It is a serious condition in which airflow through the upper respiratory system becomes obstructed, making breathing extremely difficult. Children (and adults as well) who suffer from untreated OSA can have many associated health problems.
The most important thing is to observe the daily and nightly habits of the kids and report them all of to their paediatrician. Depending on the cause of your child’s snoring, the pediatrician may recommend one or more of the following solutions:
Remove possible allergen triggers such as stuffed animals, pets or feathery down pillows and comforters.
Prescribe sinus congestion and allergy medications
Suggest that you elevate your child’s head or mattress at night with a special pillow which can help relieve congestion and clear up their nasal passages.
Refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist to see if your child’s tonsils and adenoids need to be removed.
Refer you to a sleep specialist for a possible overnight sleep study to determine if your child suffers from obstructive sleep apnea and learn how OSA can be treated.