Snoring In Children: What Parents Should Look Out For

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Many children will snore at some point in their lives such as when they are down with the flu which causes blocked airways. It is often a temporary condition that will ease up upon recovery. However, in some cases, snoring becomes habitual which indicates an underlying problem in children, which is concerning.

What can cause snoring in children?

Typically, excess or obstructive tissue in the throat can cause snoring in children. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids (a patch of tissue high up in the throat) are some examples of bulky tissue that obstructs airflow in the throat, causing snoring to happen.

Other common issues that can cause snoring in children include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Throat infection
  • Sleep apnoea

Among these, sleep apnoea is the more serious of issues that should be of parents’ concern.

What is sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is a condition that happens during sleep. Apnoea refers to “no breath” or “stopped breathing”. When a child has sleep apnoea, air stops flowing into his/her lungs for 10 seconds or longer. During this period, he/she ceases to breathe.
The constant triggering of breath puts a strain on the body, leading to feelings of exhaustion even after waking up from a full night of sleep.

This is a great concern to parents as sleep apnoea can lead to daytime fatigue and poor performance in their children. It creates attention and concentration problems that affect their schooling and day-to-day activities. In the long run, sleep apnoea can even lead to health problems developing in the heart and lungs of children.

Snoring and sleep apnoea is more likely to occur in children who are overweight or were born prematurely. Additionally, there have been studies that show that the condition is more prevalent in children that have certain genetic disorders (e.g. Down syndrome), muscular disorders (e.g. muscle dystrophy) or craniofacial disorders (e.g. cleft lip or palate).

Symptoms parents should look out for in their children

Sleep apnoea is a condition that can be treated when detected early. Parents should talk to an ENT specialist if they notice the following symptoms in their child:

  • Snoring for most nights of the week
  • Frequent snoring throughout the night
  • Noisy and prolonged snoring
  • Open-mouth breathing, with the chin or neck extended during sleep
  • Sudden pausing or gasping during sleep

It is recommended for parents to keep a sleep journal so that they can observe and record their child’s sleep patterns. Throughout the week, parents should track how many times their child snores as well as watch out for the symptoms listed above.

Snoring treatments available

Thankfully, there are several snoring treatments available that can help alleviate symptoms of snoring and sleep apnoea in children. When visiting an ENT and snoring specialist in Singapore, they may recommend some of these treatments for your child.

For children who are overweight, the ENT specialist may suggest a weight loss programme. This should include both exercise and diet to ensure adequate nutrition for your growing child. It will also help the overall health and well being of your child.

Other treatments also include CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy that involves the child wearing a mask over his or her mouth and nose areas during sleep. The mask is connected to a machine that will deliver a constant air pressure to open the respiratory airway. This allows the child to breathe more normally while sleeping.

Big tonsils and adenoids are common in children but usually reduce in size as the child grows up. They may however remain big in the presence of frequent infections and allergies. These may need to be treated but in some cases, it may be necessary to surgically remove the tonsils and adenoids.

Consult Leading Snoring Specialists In Singapore

At Amandela, we provide subspecialty care that parents can trust and rely on throughout their child’s recovery journey. Talk to our leading snoring specialists to get expert advice on effective snoring treatments for your child today.

Amandela ENT Head & Neck Center Mount Elizabeth Novena
Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road #10-45/47
Singapore 329563
T: 6694 1990
F: 6694 1992
Biz Reg No. 201210742D

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