Although the common image of someone who snores is an adult (usually a man), children can also snore. In some cases, it could be short-lived and due to a cold or another temporary condition. But about 10% of children snore on a nightly basis. If that’s the case with your child, a doctor should see him or her to determine and treat its cause since it could mean your child has a serious sleep disorder.
In this blog, the ear, nose, and throat doctors and sleep specialists at eos sleep explain what you need to know about children and snoring.
What causes snoring in children?
The sound you hear is caused by vibrations in the upper airway as a result of a partial blockage.
The following are some common causes of snoring in children:
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids – This is common in young children and may be linked to obstructive sleep apnea.
- Respiratory infection – A stopped-up nose from a cold or allergies can cause the sinuses to become blocked.
- Deviated septum – This structural issue makes one nostril smaller than the other since the wall of cartilage that separates the two nostrils is crooked or off-center. Airflow in the smaller nostril may be reduced as a result.
- Obstructive sleep apnea – This serious sleep disorder affects children as well as adults.
What are some signs that your child could have sleep apnea?
- Snores three or more nights a week
- Has interrupted breathing along with gasping, snorting, or choking sounds as breathing resumes
- Awakens frequently during sleep
- Sweats profusely while sleeping
- Wets the bed frequently
- Feels excessively sleepy during the day despite spending enough time in bed
- Has trouble waking up in the morning
- Falls asleep often during the day or seems “out of it”
- Has learning, behavioral or social problems
- Behaves irritably or aggressively
What should you do if your child shows sleep apnea symptoms?
Observe your child at home at night as well as during the day. Write down any symptoms and report them to your child’s doctor.
The way your doctor treats your child’s symptom depends on their underlying cause. You may be asked to try one or more of the following:
- Removing possible allergy triggers like stuffed animals
- Not letting pets sleep in your child’s bedroom
- Giving your child allergy or sinus medicine
- Elevating your child’s head while he or she sleeps
- Checking with your ENT to see if your child’s tonsils and adenoids are too large and need to be removed
- Checking with a sleep specialist to see if a sleep study should be conducted to test for sleep apnea
If your child snores, make an appointment today with eos sleep. Our board-certified ear, nose, and throat doctors specialize in sleep medicine and can determine and treat the cause of your child’s snoring.