Snoring and sleep apnea in children
Most children snore on occasion, and about 10 percent or more snore on most nights. Snoring is a noise that occurs during sleep when the child is breathing in and there is some blockage of air passing through the back of the mouth. The opening and closing of the air passage causes a vibration of the tissues in the throat.
Majority of the children that snore have obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
How do you know if your child is just a normal snorer or if he has obstructive sleep apnea? Children who snore and do not have OSAS should be otherwise well, without daytime sleepiness and they should have normal sleep patterns. In contrast to normal primary snoring, children with OSAS usually have disrupted sleep with short ‘pauses, snorts, or gasps’ in their sleep.
Other signs or symptoms might include:
and large tonsils and/or adenoids with frequent mouth breathing, hyponasal speech and nasal obstruction
and poor weight gain or being overweight
and high blood pressure
and Snore loudly and on a regular basis
and Have pauses, gasps and snorts and actually stop breathing. The snorts and gasps may waken them and disrupt their sleep.
and Be restless or sleep in abnormal positions with their head in unusual positions
and Sweat heavily during sleep
and During the day, children may have headaches, especially in the morning
and Have behavioral, school and social problems
and Be difficult to wake up
and Be irritable, agitated, aggressive and cranky
and Be so sleepy during the day that they actually fall asleep or daydream
and Speak with a nasal voice and breathe regularly through the mouth
Once it is determined that your child has obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, it will be time to discuss treatment options, which usually include removing enlarged adenoids and tonsils –adenotonsillectomy.
Other treatments might include treating a child’s allergies and helping overweight children lose weight.
Remember to be especially suspicious that your child may have OSA if he regularly snores and has apnea, daytime sleepiness, and/or school and behavioral problems.