Children Who Snore and What It Can Mean

You may have wondered if your child’s loud snoring is normal or if they have an underlying health condition. The answer is MAYBE. Childhood snoring has been linked to Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea. So the next question would be, why would a young child have sleep apnea? Isn’t it the older, overweight male who typically fits the picture of OSA?

Children who present with daytime Attention Deficit Disorder are highly likely to have sleep-disordered breathing that has been undiagnosed. These children tend to be hyperactive, unlike the excessive daytime sleepiness you see in adults with OSA. They often do poorly in school because they lack the ability to concentrate on their schoolwork.

The biggest reason for OSA or snoring in children is enlarged tonsils. Large tonsils cause crowding in the back of the throat and can block the airway, causing snoring and OSA. The second reason is a narrow palate. A narrow palate leaves no room for the tongue, which in turn causes the tongue to fall back and block the airway.

If your child snores and is hyperactive, it is best to have him/her seen by a pediatrician to examine his tonsils and by an orthodontist to check the palate. Treatment includes removal of enlarged tonsils and palatal expansion, which can help prevent the child from developing OSA years later as an adult. Dr. Abdulla treats adults for OSA using an oral device, and she also screens young children for OSA. Feel free to call our office for a complimentary screening and referral for OSA testing to the appropriate physician or orthodontist if needed.

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