Sleep as we are well aware, is vital to both children and adults. A good sleep is crucial in children as they are still growing, and a disturbed sleep or fragmented sleep could lead to several problems like lethargy, tiredness, stress, obesity, poor school performance, bed wetting and a lot of other disturbances.
Almost everyone, adults as well as children, have had an occasional episode of snoring. Most of the time, this snoring is minor and short-lived with no measurable effect on the personâ€™s sleep or overall health. However, when this occurs frequently it leads to an interrupted sleep, and is termed as sleep disordered breathing (SDB). And it may result in disturbances in oxygenation and resulting problems.
In case of simple snoring or habitual snoring, which is more than two times per week and no other significant symptoms and is usually harmless. On the other extreme, is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition in which there are constant lapses or gaps while he / she breathes while sleeping. These gaps or interruptions, are called as apneas, are frequent, almost occurring dozens of times every night because the airways are blocked. OSA can cause sleep to occur in fragments and results in negative impacts on physical health, mental health, behaviour and learning.
Snoring is a sound which is produced due to airflow obstruction from nostril to the upper air pipes called trachea. Due to this obstruction, whenever the child inhales or exhales, tissue around the airway vibrates and results in an audible noise.There could be various causes of snoring in children like large or swollen tonsils and adenoids, obesity, congestion, allergies, asthma, anatomic or structural features that automatically results in a narrowed area and gives rise to snoring (e.g. deviated nasal septum) and most importantly, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
When snoring is infrequent in children, it is not usually dangerous, but if it happens regularly or is severe, it is indicative of sleep-disordered breathing which can have significant health consequences. Regular snoring can affect the nervous system as well as cardiovascular system. If your child is snoring, here are a few indicators that may signal the possibility of an abnormal sleep-disordered breathing snoring: