Why Children and Snoring Should Not Be Ignored and Considered Normal
Children and snoring estimates show that around 3 to 12 percent of children of preschool age snore. A larger part of these children do not suffer from other problem, they just have the problem of snoring. Technically, snoring is just a noise that is caused when child inhales and there is some blockage of air.
About two percent of the children who snore suffer from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). It is a condition that leads to a number of behavioral effects causing problems in school etc.
To find out whether the child is only just a typical snorer or is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea is an important to be done by the parents or guardians. Ordinary snorers who are not suffering from OSAS are otherwise in a normal condition having normal sleeping patterns and no behavioral changes.
On the other hand a child suffering from OSAS generally suffer from disrupted sleep. They have short ‘snorts, gasps, or pauses’ during their sleep. Also, their attention span becomes short and suffers from problems at school.
Other symptoms of OSAS are large tonsils, a poor gain in weight or becoming overweight, high blood pressure, heavy sweating during sleep, and restless sleep acquiring abnormal positions during their sleep.
Daytime symptoms of OSAS are behavioral problems, problems in waking up, persistent headaches, getting irritated, cranky, agitated and aggressive, frequent breathing from mouth, nasal obstruction and speaking with a nasal voice and having daydreams.
The factors that can cause obstructive sleep apnea are obesity, asthma, allergies, gastroenterological reflux disorder (GERD) and other neurological or medical problems.
Snoring in children is caused from 3 things. Firstly, the reason can be an anatomical part like a small airway or a small jaw that the child might have from birth. Second, there can be a problem in the integration of the nerves and muscle which are responsible in those areas causing obstructed airway and hence causing child snoring. Third and the most common reason for kids snoring are enlarged adenoids and tonsils.
Whether or not chronic snoring in children can be harmless is not known yet. Although, if it is the reason for other sleep disorder in children like waking up in the middle of sleep, treatment becomes necessary.
Regular and loud snoring is most of the times not normal for otherwise healthy kids. It can also be a sign of some respiratory infection, allergies or stuffy nose.
Snoring is not primarily a child sleep problem, but OSAS is and it is not easy to distinguish between the two. If one suspects that the child may have sleep apnea should immediately consult their doctor. An overnight study of children and snoring can reveal the problems and treatment can begin accordingly.