What is Snoring and Why Do Children Snore?

Snoring is the sound produced by the vibration of the airways while you breathe during sleep. While snoring is more common in adults, children can also snore. Some common causes of snoring in children include the following:

  • Enlarged adenoids or tonsils: Tissues located at the back of the throat that can become enlarged due to infections or inflammations. This blocks the airway and causes snoring.
  • Allergies or nasal congestion: A common cold or a respiratory infection can cause nasal congestion or a swelling in the throat. This can also lead to snoring.
  • Obesity: Excess weight can result in the accumulation of extra tissue in the throat, narrowing the airways and leading to snoring. 
  • Sleep Apnea: A sleep-related breathing disorder in which breathing is repeatedly disrupted during sleep.
  • Congenital Birth Defects: Deviated septum, a narrow airway, or other abnormalities that may obstruct the airway and cause snoring.

Tips For Reducing Snoring in Children

There are a few ways to reduce snoring in your child, depending on what’s causing it. 

  • Manage allergies and congestion: Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications, nasal decongestants, or other treatments to reduce inflammation may help to reduce snoring.
  • Encourage healthy sleep habits: A consistent bedtime routine and ensuring that your child is getting ample sleep may reduce snoring.
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle: A balanced diet and regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and body, potentially reducing snoring.
  • Remove irritants and allergens from the room: Animal dander, dust, dirt, and other allergens can contribute to allergies and nasal congestion. Removing them may help reduce snoring.
  • Use a humidifier: Dry air can cause nasal congestion and snoring. Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier may help.

Treatment Options for Snoring in Children

  • Adenoidectomy or Tonsillectomy: If the snoring is caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils, surgical removal of these tissues may be required to treat snoring issues.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy: This involves wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth during sleep to deliver a continuous flow of air to keep the airways open. This is recommended for children with moderate to severe sleep apnea. 
  • Weight Management: If snoring is caused by obesity, your child may be recommended to go through dietary changes, increased physical activity, and behavioural modification to help them adopt healthier habits.
  • Allergy Management: Snoring caused by allergies will be treated with allergy medications or immunotherapy.
  • Nasal decongestants or Corticosteroids: These may be prescribed to help with nasal congestion or inflammation.

What is snoring and Causes of snoring in Children?

Snoring is caused by vibration of the tissues lining on the upper passages of the throat that happen during breathing. While snoring is more common in adults, children can also snore. Some common causes of snoring in children include the following:

Causes of Snoring in Children could be due to the following:

  • Enlarged adenoids or tonsils: Tissues located at the back of the throat that can become enlarged due to infections or inflammations. This blocks the airway and causes snoring.
  • Allergies or nasal congestion: A common cold or a respiratory infection can cause nasal congestion or a swelling in the throat. This can also lead to snoring.
  • Obesity: Excess weight can result in the accumulation of extra tissue in the throat, narrowing the airways and leading to snoring.
  • Sleep Apnea: A sleep-related breathing disorder in which breathing is repeatedly disrupted during sleep.
  • Congenital Birth Defects: In children a deviated septum, a narrow airway, or other abnormalities that may obstruct the airway can also be a cause for snoring.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes heavy snoring in kids?

Heavy snoring in kids can be caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils, obesity, sleep apnea, congenital birth defects, allergies, or nasal congestion.

Should I be worried if my child snores?

Occasional snoring is no cause for concern. But if your child snores frequently or loudly, then it can indicate an underlying health condition. You should bring your child to the ENT doctor for a check if snoring is accompanied by other symptoms such as pauses in breathing during sleep, excessive fatigue in the day, and behavioural problems.

Can kids have sleep apnea?

Yes, children can have sleep apnea.