Just when you thought that snoring is just for grownups, your daughter all of a sudden tells you that her big brother she shares the bedroom with makes the same funny sound when he’s sleeping. Before you get alarmed, you have to realize that there are cases where snoring in children is perfectly fine. On the other hand, there are also red flags when it comes to kids snoring and thus could be a sign of more serious conditions.
In this article, we will identify the possible reasons behind your kid’s snoring so that you’ll know what to anticipate if the snoring continues and more importantly, how you can help you child avert potential dangers.
1. Colds and Allergies
One of the most common triggers of snoring in children is a brewing cold. When your kid’s nose gets stuffy, the mucus can block the air he breathes in and can also cause for the air he exhales to have difficulty passing through. Allergies can also be the culprit of blocked nasal airways especially when the sinuses are swollen or infected.
When these happen, you can improve your child’s breathing by using a humidifier, a machine that releases a cool mist, or a vaporizer, a device that heats water until it produces a steam. Both of these can keep the air clean inside his room and help ease the congestion of your kid’s nasal passageways. In addition, if your child is allergic to pets, do not allow your fluffy friends to stay in the bedroom to avoid allergens.
2. Swollen Tonsils and Adenoids
The tonsils are the glands found at the back of your throat while the adenoids are the ones located where the nose meets the throat. The job of these two glands is to filter the bacteria and virus that you inhale. The problem is when they get infected by the same virus they filter, they become swollen and this can get in the way of breathing. With the normal passage of air being swollen and disrupted, snoring might be set off.
In some cases, doctors advise that enlarged tonsils and adenoids be removed through surgery. However, you also have the option to use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to treat the snoring. This machine includes a mask that your child can wear so that he’ll be able to get a sufficient amount of air and sleep comfortably.
When a kid is overweight, his throat tissues can enlarge too and this can block the passage of the air during sleep. This is why a lot of people who are suffering from obesity also suffer from sleep apnea. The fat that accumulates around the neck can eventually narrow the passageway of air and can lead to snoring.
If your child is snoring and you suspect that this is caused by being overweight, you can consult a doctor who can determine this. You can also check with a dietician who can come up with meal plan that will help your kid lose weight. In the meantime, your child can also make use of a CPAP while you work on his weight loss regimen.
4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Also known as OSAS, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is often characterized by loud snoring and long pauses in breathing. Unlike the mild snoring that can occur when your child has a cold, OSAS is a serious condition that can impede the entry of air to the lungs which can cause for your kid to have difficulty in breathing. A critical snoring case such as OSAS can disrupt sleep and thus cause fatigue, poor cognitive skills, and even stunted growth. They may also have difficulty in concentrating in school as well as delayed responses to stimuli due to exhaustion. Severe sleep apnea has also been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, and in some cases, it is the snoring that serve as the symptom of these diseases.
OSAS can be caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids as well as obesity so it’s crucial that you have your kids checked for all symptoms. CPAP can help you address the snoring problem of your kid but there are also other ways to deal with snoring that you can avail.
Snoring may be a common condition in your home but it doesn’t mean that you should take it lightly. No matter the trigger of your child’s snoring, it’s always better to consult a doctor right away. Also, keep in mind that apart from devices that your kid can use to treat snoring, you should also consider helping them transition to a healthier lifestyle to treat sleep apnea.