Snoring is often treated as a hilarious problem that is depicted in movies with a lighter and humorous touch. However, it is a problem that should be given due emphasis, especially if it is seen in kids. Though snoring can be normal but a proper diagnosis will ensure the same.
Snoring is the vibrating sound that comes out due to breathing while sleeping if there is some sort of blockage of air passing through the back part of the mouth. A vibration of the tissues in the throat is caused due to the opening and closing of the air passage. The amount of air that passes through determines the snore loudness. It also affects the speed of the throat tissue.
It has been seen that kids that are three years or older are more inclined to snore when they are in deep stages of sleep. Snoring becomes problematic when it increases in loudness and becomes regular. This regular and loud snoring can be an indication of a respiratory disorder or nose allergy and in some serious cases, it can be a symptom of sleep apnea.
Causes of Snoring
Here are some of the possible causes of snoring in kids:
- Respiratory Infection: Often the nasal blockage in children due to a stuffy nose or cold allergies forces the children to breathe through their mouth that leads to snoring.
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids: This is another reason that has been seen in kids who snore. This is a vital sign of potential obstructive sleep apnea. Airways are blocked by the swollen glands that make it difficult for the child to breathe at ease while sleeping.
- Deviated septum: This problem occurs when the airway of the nostrils is displaced or offset. This creates problems in the breathing process as the airflow is reduced due to one nostril passage being smaller than the other.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): It has been seen that around 3% of children between the ages of 1–9 has the problem of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In this serious condition, the airflow becomes obstructed through the upper respiratory system. This makes it difficult for the kids to breathe. Not just this, it has been seen that kids and adults with this health concern are also affected by many allied health problems.
Symptoms of Snoring
Some prominent symptoms of snoring have been listed as under that have to be checked while the child is sleeping at night:
- The child snores regularly (more than 3 nights per week)
- The breathing is broken up by gasps, pauses longer than 10 seconds or snorts
- Breathing interruptions wake the child up while sleeping
- The child sweats a lot while sleeping
- The child has restless sleep
- The child wets the bed at night
Other than these symptoms that are to be observed at night, there are some other probable symptoms that are to be noticed in the daytime as well. They have been mentioned under:
- The child is very sleepy during the day. This tells that he or she could not sleep well during the night, probably due to constant interruptions.
- The child has trouble in waking up and the reason can be same as mentioned above
- The child has learned, social or behavioral problems
- The child gets irritated and aggressive very easily
- The child speaks nasally and breathes through the mouth.
Remedies or Treatment of Snoring
As soon as you detect that your child is snoring regularly, you should get him or her examined by a physician as there can be some serious reasons behind it as well. However, if the doctor suggests that snoring can be healed using home remedies then the following can be tried.
- Vaporizer: Often the child can snore due to cold or a stuffy nose. If this is the case, use a cool-mist vaporizer before sleeping at night to clear away the stuffy nose. However, this vaporizer should be used carefully as it can cause steam burns. So the temperature should be cautiously adjusted by an adult.
- Sleep Position: The sleep position of the kids can be modified to stop snoring. Make him or her avoid sleeping on back.
- Air Purifier: If the problem of stuffy nose is due to dust allergies, then getting an air purifier in his room can result in reducing the same.
- Lose Weight: If your kid is overweight then this can also result in snoring. Try to get him or sherinvolved more in outdoor physical activities to stay fit and hence reduce snoring as a result.
- Change the Pillows: It has been noticed that avoiding pillows can help reduce snoring.
- Being Well Hydrated: Teach your kids to drink water. A well-hydrated body results in less nose blockage and hence reduces snoring.
Snoring might be a serious health problem depending on the reason behind it. However, if properly taken care of, it can be reduced and even removed.