What Causes Snoring in Children?
About 10 percent of children snore regularly, so it’s uncommon, and it typically happens only in children with some kind of health issue. Sometimes the issue is minor but other times it’s a cause for concern. It can be hard to tell, which is why it’s important to have a professional check things out. We can do this here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, so if your child is snoring, get in touch with us today so we can determine the cause and treat it.
Generally, what causes snoring?
When snoring happens, it’s generally caused by something like allergies, a stuffy nose, oral anatomy, sinus anatomy, the individual’s weight, or even a jaw joint disorder. During sleep, the muscles in the mouth, tongue, and throat relax, and this can exacerbate the aforementioned issues and cause snoring. Generally, the issue is a narrowed or partially blocked airway. Some patients get a sleep study done, which can reveal the underlying cause of their snoring. Other patients are helped by a sleep professional like one of ours here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders.
What typically causes snoring in children?
It’s rare for a child to snore. Sometimes snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious condition for children. If your child’s snoring is accompanied by gasps, snorts, or pauses in breathing, then this could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Another sign of sleep apnea is your child seeming sleepy during the daytime.
Health issues like obesity, allergies, asthma, gastroenterological reflux disorder (GERD), or some others can cause snoring. It can be common for swollen or large tonsils to cause snoring/sleep apnea in children, as young kids’ tonsils are rather large compared to the throat and can block or narrow the airway. The National Center for Health Statistics says that over 260,000 American children have tonsillectomies each year due to sleep apnea.
The aforementioned issues should be addressed by a professional. Really, any regular snoring in a child should be addressed professionally. It can be a sign of sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, or another issue, and an issue like sleep apnea can actually cause or contribute to sleep and behavioral problems.
How is snoring treated?
As a parent, you can redefine or influence your child’s lifestyle. Changes like losing weight can help with snoring, but for snoring caused by something like a jaw joint disorder or sleep apnea, a different approach is required. In the case of snoring caused by sleep apnea, CPAP therapy can help, but many children find it uncomfortable, inconvenient, and loud. There is an alternative to CPAP therapy, though, and it’s oral appliance therapy. It can address snoring caused by a jaw joint (TMJ) disorder too. For many patients, 3 months of oral appliance therapy relieves symptoms by 90%!
Oral appliance therapy is approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and provided by us at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. The treatment could easily be the one that works for your child. We’d love to tell you more about it, so to learn more, give our clinic a call at (855) 977-0400. You can come see us with your child for a simple consultation, and to accommodate you, we have many locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. Check our Locations page for the clinic nearest you.
Reach out to us today if your child needs help with snoring and the issues that cause it. Our sleep professionals can provide a sleep study, oral appliance therapy, and other services to make sure your child gets the care he or she needs.