When you hear an adult snoring, it’s annoying but not surprising. After all, we’ve all become used to a loved one or friend sawing logs over the years. However, when you notice your child is the one snoring at night, that’s a different story. It can be alarming because hearing a child loudly snore isn’t nearly as expected.
A child snoring isn’t as common as an adult snoring, but it’s not entirely unheard of. Mild snoring isn’t alarming in some children. However, in other children, this could mean they have a serious condition known as sleep apnea, which affects an estimated one to four percent of all children according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.
Is your child’s snoring a problem?
You can help determine whether your child’s snoring is something to be seriously concerned about by looking for some other symptoms. If your child has a regular, light snore and there’s nothing else going on, it may not be an issue.
However, if you notice your child snorts, is restless or even stops breathing when they are sleeping, these are potential indicators of obstructive sleep apnea. These are not the only warning signs of this condition, either. When a child has disturbances in their sleep, the symptoms that result are sometimes confused with conditions such as attention deficit disorder. A child with sleep apnea might also have trouble concentrating in school, fail to gain weight, have difficulty potty training, suffer from daytime fatigue, wet the bed, have night terrors or experience other problems.
Some children may develop another type of this condition known as central sleep apnea. Unlike more traditional sleep apnea, which is caused by an obstruction, central apnea stems from the malfunction of the part of the brain which is responsible for breathing. The brain simply does not send the breathing muscles signals to breathe in this type of apnea. While both obstructive and central sleep apnea cause snoring, it tends to be far more noticeable in obstructive apnea. Central sleep apnea can cause your child to experience the same symptoms as seen in the obstructive type.
The risk factors
There are several factors that might increase your child’s risk of sleep apnea, including a family history of the condition or the child being overweight or obese. Children with a large tongue or a low birth weight are also at increased risk for this disorder. Some medical conditions, such as sickle cell disease and Down syndrome, also put a child more at risk for developing sleep apnea.
What you can do
Speak to your doctor if your child snores and also has any of the other symptoms of sleep apnea in children. It’s possible your child will need a sleep test—also known as a sleep study—to get to the root of their problem and identify the correct treatment so they can sleep properly again.
Don’t worry about your child’s health one second longer. Contact our professional and experienced service for help with your child’s potential sleeping disorder today.
A MESSAGE FROM DR. AMY HARTSFIELD:
At TMJ & Sleep Solutions of Alabama, our mission is to provide personalized care to restore quality of life, one patient at a time. If you are experiencing issues with sleep, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment!