Snoring in Children: Is It Prevalent and Can Stop Snoring Devices Be Used?
Most people are used to hearing adults snore. But snoring in children isn’t quite so common. Every once in a while, though,
people get an earful from a child as well. Anyone who has heard this will agree – it’s pretty adorable and somewhat comical.
For the most part, when an adult witnesses snoring in children they simply think that he or she has just “conked out,” or that,
perhaps, the child has a stuffed-up nose. These are logical conclusions. When a person is incredibly tired and they pass out,
their muscles fully relax, which can lead to overly relaxed jaw and throat muscles. This can constrict the airway and lead to
snoring. And conjunction from a cold or allergies can definitely cause someone to snore. But with so many adults being
diagnosed with sleep apnea, some parents are concerned. Is their child’s snoring something they need to worry about? Should they
consider trying stop snoring devices on their children?
Snoring in Children – Do That Many Children Snore Regularly?
Actually, quite a few children snore on a regular basis. Some estimates claim that up to 10% of the juvenile
population snores. Approximately two percent of the population is severe snorers. That might be
comforting at first, but then the question arises: is snoring in children really healthy? And what causes
snoring in children? For the most part, snoring in children has been linked to enlarged adenoids and/or tonsils.
Another contributing factor is allergies. When a child suffers from allergies, their nasal passages and sinuses
are often filled with mucus and inflamed. This causes a narrowing of the airway through
the nose and can lead to snoring. Like adults, kids can be a single-type snorer or multi-functional snorer. They might just be a nose snorer, or they might snore
through their nose, mouth, and or throat. It often depends on their anatomy, weight, and even their diet.
Sleep Apnea and Children – Is This Something Parents Have to Worry About?
Something that concerns parents immensely is the question of whether their snoring child could actually be displaying symptoms of sleep apnea.
First, let’s look at the symptoms of sleep apnea.
• Loud snoring with periodic gasps for air
• Arrested breathing
• Sleeping with their head in an odd position
• Sweating while sleeping
• Waking up feeling exhausted.
Many of these are symptoms of sleep apnea in adults, but this list was actually taken from the National Sleep Foundation’s list of sleep apnea symptoms in children.
So, the answer is yes – kids can have sleep apnea. How is this possible? There are a number of factors, some of which they share with adults.
• Overweight or obese
• Larger than average tongue
• Large tonsils/adenoids
• Down’s Syndrome
• Cerebral palsy
• Neuromuscular disorders
• Being exposed to tobacco smoke.
Do Kids Grow Out of Their Snoring or Does It Just Get Worse with Age?
In some cases, children will grow out of their snoring stage. They may have had their tonsils out or had their allergies treated with allergy shots. In a lot of cases,
though, snoring will continue with the children as they grow up. It’s important, then, to get a diagnosis as soon as possible to confirm whether a child has sleep
apnea or not. The first step is to take the child to the doctor. The physician can do an examination of the child’s nasal passage, oral cavity, and oropharynx.
Based on what they see and the symptoms the parent describes, the doctor may prescribe an overnight sleep study. This study will examine the child’s sleep
patterns and record how often the child stops sleeping throughout the night. Once the doctor has that information, they can then come up with a treatment plan
for the child.
Some of the top anti-snoring devices might be recommended by the child’s physician. One of the best stop snoring devices that
also treats sleep apnea is the CPAP machine. In fact, this is the go-to device for sleep apnea no matter how young or old a
person may be. Out of all the top anti-snoring devices, this is probably the only one a doctor will prescribe for a child.
They’ll probably avoid putting the child in an oral device because the child’s bones are still growing. Mouth guards worn
all night can inhibit proper growth. Besides prescribing one of the top stop snoring devices on the market, the doctor will likely recommend some lifestyle changes.
If the child is carrying some extra weight, they’ll recommend weight loss via regular exercise and a healthy diet. When snoring in children is related to allergies and
inflamed nasal passages, the doctor might recommend allergy treatments, allergy medications, or for the parents to cut out certain foods. Another option is surgery.
Not every child is a good candidate for surgery. That’s up to the doctor’s discretion. However, if a child has excess tissue in the back of their throat, some type of
surgery might be one of their best options.
If You’re Concerned about Your Child’s Snoring – Talk to Your Doctor Right Away
Not all snoring is a sign of sleep apnea. This is true for adults, but especially so for children. However, more and more children
are dealing with adult health conditions, like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it’s always best to monitor the child regularly.
If a parent or guardian thinks their child’s snoring is excessive, or if they notice that the child stops breathing, a doctor should be
consulted right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. An extra trip to the doctor won’t hurt, and it could end up being a step
parents can take to nip something serious – like sleep apnea – in the bud. Just how serious is sleep apnea? Head over to our
sleep apnea page. There, you’ll learn about the dangers of this condition, as well as the signs and symptoms to watch out for.