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A lot of children snore occasionally and this is a normal occurrence that can be remedied with ease. However, there are also children who snore persistently, which is a more serious condition worth considering. Chronic snoring may indicate to sleep apnea, a serious health issue that can affect breathing while sleeping. That's why you need to take it seriously if your child snores every single night.
Typical Causes of Snoring in Children
How does snoring occur? This annoying sound occurs due to the vibrations of the respiratory system, in the upper airways in particular, while sleeping. In fact, snoring is caused by obstructed air movements.
Here are some of the most common causes of snoring in young children:
- Respiratory Infection
- Deviated septum
- Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
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Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
It's estimated that approximately 3 percent of children under 9 years of age suffer from some type of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This serious sleep disorder is caused by either partial or complete obstruction of the upper respiratory system and it's characterized by extremely difficult breathing during sleep. If not treated on time, OSA can lead to various health problems.
As a parent whose child often snore during sleep, you should check out some symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. That said, you should observe both nightly and daily habits of your child. Here's what to look for:
- Consider how often your child snores. Three or more nights weekly could be worrying.
- Check out how well your child breaths when sleeping. Bad signs include pauses longer than eight seconds, snorts, and breathing interrupted by gasps.
- Pay attention to interruptions in your child's breathing that wake him/her from sleep.
- If your little one seems tired or sleepy over the day and if he or she frequently falls asleep during the day.
- Also, consider if your child is hard to wake up in the morning.
- Restless sleep in which your child moves frequently at night is often associated with OSA.
- Profuse sweating during sleep can also indicate to OSA in some children.
There are different solutions for snoring, depending on the symptoms and cause. Here are some possible options:
Change Sleep Position
It's possible to stop snoring in less serious cases by modifying sleep position. Try to roll your child gently on either side to prevent his uvula from relaxing. You can also elevate your child's head by adding a special mattress or pillow.
Be sure to eliminate possible allergen triggers like a feather pillow, pets, or stuffed animals. Perhaps the pediatrician will prescribe an allergy medication if needed.
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Add an Air Purifier Into Your Child's Room
Air purifier could also be an option, as it can clean the air and rid a room of dust allergies that contribute to snoring. Add an air purifier into the room where your child sleeps.
Consider Over-The-Counter Remedies and Devices
There is a wide range of over-the-counter remedies and anti snoring devices to choose from, including Neti pots, nasal wash kits, tongue stabilizing devices, and jaw advancing device. Consult a doctor which one is most suitable for your child's age.
Consult an Otolaryngologist or Sleep Specialist
Let's say you have tried out everything mentioned above and nothing helped. If so, talk to a pediatrician. He may refer you to an otolaryngologist or sleep specialist. The sleep specialist might suggest a sleep study in order to determine whether your child is suffering from a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. Based on the symptoms, he will recommend the best treatment option for your child. Likewise, the otolaryngologist will suggest removal of tonsils and adenoids if it causes snoring in your child.