Children Snoring: Causes and Solutions

The comfort and health of children are top priority for all parents. Hence, when it comes to the sleeping habits and snoring of your child, it is normal to have certain questions in mind. Is snoring a normal occurrence in children? Will it cause any harm to them? When does snoring in children raise concern? What measures you can take to prevent snoring in your child? Read the article to get the answers.

What Causes Snoring in Children?

High-Risk Causes That May Cause Snoring in Your Child

Disorders of sleep are considered serious or high-risk causes of snoring in children. Generally, air passages get blocked due to these disorders leading to vibrations, which are heard as snoring. Apart from disorders of sleep, infections may also lead to snoring. Treatment of an infection may be done faster in comparison to a sleep disorder; however, it may still endanger a child’s life.

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea: It is a serious disorder of sleep, which requires medical intervention soon after its diagnosis. Children who suffer from OSA have chronic airflow obstruction resulting in difficulty in breathing. Approximately 3% of all children falling in the age group of 0 to nine years have OSA. The obstruction is either partial or complete (temporarily). Partial implies difficulty in breathing, whereas complete implies temporary stopping of breathing for a couple of seconds. Both kinds of obstruction are dangerous and cause snoring in children.

The signs and symptoms of OSA in a child are:

Some signs of OSA that occurs when the child is awake:

  1. Respiratory Infection: It can range from minor infections such as mild allergies, sinus infection or common cold to life threatening infections such as pneumonia, severe attack of allergies or bronchial infection. You can’t specify the type of infection without medical tests; hence, you should observe the signs and symptoms of your child carefully.

Snoring in children may be due to throat problem or nasal blockage. It may be minor at first; however, similar to any other infection, it may get better in a couple of days or worsen.

Signs that indicate that immediate medical attention is required are:

Common signs, which indicate that though there is nothing serious but should be treated as early as possible are:

  1. Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids: This is among the most common causes of snoring in the children. These glands may swell either due to physical damage or infection, blocking the air passage temporarily. This makes breathing during sleep difficult for the child.

You may take this as not a serious cause of snoring, but this may lead to the development of OSA. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can be easily managed and treated during early stage; however, at an advanced stage, surgery may be required.

Some common signs and symptoms of enlarged tonsils and adenoids are:

Low-Risk Causes That May Cause Snoring in Your Child

These causes can also improve with proper medical intervention. But they are less dangerous in comparison to the three causes described above.

  1. Deviated Nasal Septum: In this condition, one of the two nostrils is either slightly deformed or damaged. As normal inhalation is not possible from the damaged nostril, breathing becomes difficult. There is nothing much to worry about this condition as the problem exists only in the nose. The condition causes more problems in babies up to the age of 2 years.
  1. Nasal Polyps: This condition is common in the children of age group 10 to 14 years. There are no noticeable symptoms present apart from snoring in children. Majority of the children reach adulthood without getting permanent treatment to the problem such as surgery.
  2. Weak Muscles of Throat and Tongue: When the muscles of throat and tongue become relaxed, they collapse inside the air passages and block them. This makes breathing normally almost impossible. This is considered worrisome but normal.
  3. Seasonal Allergy: Some children have allergy to pollen that makes their nose stuffy. A stuffy nose filled and blocked with mucus, makes breathing difficult and results in snoring.
  4. Being Obese and Overweight: Being overweight leads to narrowing of the air passages of the nose and this may be the reason of snoring in your obese child.
  5. Asthma: Children with asthma have inflammation of the air passages, which leads to difficulty in breathing while sleeping resulting in snoring.

Solutions for Snoring Among Children

Your child may require treatment if they show other symptoms such as sleepiness during day, bed wetting and bad performance at school etc. apart from snoring. It is imperative to find the cause of snoring. Once your physician determines the cause, they will suggest appropriate solution for the problem.

Some treatment options that are available for children who suffer from OSA are:

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