Children And Snoring
There are several reasons why a child may snore. Children are prone to coughs and colds, which can lead to sinus congestion. Infected tonsils or adenoids can cause them to swell which may block the airway. Passive smoking is often a reason why children snore as the smoke can cause the nose, throat and mouth area to swell making it difficult to breathe.
Retrognathia jaw shape is often a problem in children as the jaw and facial structures will develop at a different rate. This usually resolves itself but if the problem continues it may be advisable to see your GP or dentist for further advise.
Snoring During Pregnancy
During pregnancy many changes occur within the respiratory system, which can alter the function of sleep, increasing the likelihood of sleep disordered breathing. These changes might include increased ventilatory drive and metabolic rate and changes in upper airway patency. This may give rise to snoring.
Circulating oestrogen and progesterone levels increase markedly during pregnancy. Additionally an increase in circulating blood volume may give rise to nasal congestion and rhinitis.
It is clear that symptoms experienced by males and females with snoring and sleep apnoea may differ. There are obvious biological differences in lung size and respiratory function in males and females which suggest that the upper airway is relatively greater in women. Additionally the airway walls are less flexible and therefore less prone to yield to pressure. This means that collapse of the airway is resisted when muscle tone falls during sleep.
The drive to breathe varies in phase with the menstrual cycle underlining the influence of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen. Ventilatory drive may be stronger in males than females whilst awake, but females do not experience such a great fall in the drive to breathe during sleep. Women are probably protected from snoring and sleep apnoea because of this effect.
It is thought that fluctuations in hormone levels can tip the balance in women who are predisposed to snoring and sleep apnoea.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) gives clear evidence that female hormones play a preventative role in reducing the incidence of snoring and sleep apnoea in pre-monopausal females.