Snoring Can Be a Sign of Something More Serious

Snoring Can Be a Sign of Something More Serious

Is snoring normal in children? While ten to 20 percent of children snore on a regular basis, honestly, the answer is no, snoring is not normal in children Yes, at times snoring may happen because your child has congestion caused by a cold, but when snoring occurs frequently, you should be concerned and consider talking to their doctor regarding the situation. You can also speak to Dr. Korous at Millennium Smiles in Frisco, Texas, about primary snoring.

Primary snoring happens the airway becomes blocked. Blockages in children can usually be attributed to:

  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids,
  • Enlarge nasal turbinates
  • Drooping soft palate in the back of the throat
  • Allergies
  • Narrowed airway
  • A deviated septum
  • A set-back jaw

These conditions do not just cause snoring; they cause sleep apnea – which, in turn, takes snoring from a mild concern to something serious. Sleep apnea can cause repeated interruptions during sleep in which your child stops breathing and wakes up gasping for air. When this happens, your child never fully gets to REM sleep – which means they are not getting enough rest. As a result, your child may be fatigued, moody, act out, show signs of behavioral issues, be hyperactive, or have a hard time concentrating.

Research has also shown that a lack of oxygen caused by sleep apnea can also mean decreased cognitive function and also impact face and body growth.

Additionally, sleep apnea has been linked to an increase in the risk of developing a serious health issue, like high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

So, What Should You Do If Your Child Snores?

While you may be tempted to watch and wait to see if your child’s snoring resolves on its own, we really don’t recommend that for the side effects we mentioned above.

If your child has allergies causing nasal obstruction, you may find that some medications, such as antihistamines or nonsteroidal nasal sprays (ask us which one we recommend!) may help improve breathing.

In some cases, you may consider removing your children’s tonsils and adenoids, and while that may work for some children, if it is not the true reason behind the snoring or sleep apnea, your child could face a relapse down the road.

So, How Can You Tell If It Is Sleep Apnea?

The only way to tell if it is sleep apnea or primary snoring is to schedule a sleep study. During the study, breathing is monitored for interruptions. If your child is diagnosed with sleep apnea, treatments can include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Removal of tonsils and adenoids
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to force the airway open
  • Oral appliance therapy

What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?

In many cases of sleep apnea in children, oral therapy can be a viable alternative to surgery, medications, and machines. Oral appliances can help bring a jaw that is set too far back forward – which keeps the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway during sleep.

Millennium Smiles in Frisco, Texas, treats both children and adults with sleep apnea. Learn more about sleep apnea, appliance therapy, and how we may be able to help by calling us now for a consultation 972-430-2773.