Snoring In Children

August 25, 2023 by admin

What will cause a child to snore? Snoring occurs when there is a blockage in the upper airway. In children, this blockage is most commonly due to enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids, which are glands situated in the back of the throat and nose.
The tonsils and adenoids are part of a ring of tissues which are involved in the detection of foreign materials entering the body and the formation of antibodies against them. It is important to recognize that because they are only part of this ring of tissues, there is significant redundancy. Because of this, there is no significant loss of immunity when the tonsils and adenoids are removed.

Associated Problems With Snoring
The snoring child will often be a chronic mouth breather, especially when sleeping. This will cause drying of the mouth and saliva predisposing him to dental caries. Due to blockage of the natural drainage of mucus in the back of the nose, he will be susceptible to frequent nasal and sinus infections and will often have a constantly running nose. Orthodontic irregularities may occur due to changes brought on by a persistently open mouth. Although the dry mouth may cause the child to drink more, the blocked nose and the consequently enforced mouth breathing will cause the child to take a long time to eat solid food, and as a result some will be consistently underweight.

The nasal blockage will cause sleep apnea, with poor rest at night and sleepiness during the day. This, along with the lack of oxygen due to the nasal blockage, can cause decreased alertness and concentration, thereby worsening school performance. This can be further compounded as there may be blockage of the Eustachian tube, a tube connecting the ear to the back of the nose, with fluid in the ear and hearing loss resulting. Speech may be unclear or delayed, and these problems can be contributory to education woes.

Finally, this problem can worsen, putting additional strain on the heart, and it is possible for these children to go into heart failure as a result.

So how do these children appear to their families? The picture may be one of a child who snores loudly, sometimes waking up gasping for breath. His nose may be persistently running. He predominantly breathes through the mouth.

He may lack concentration and fall asleep easily during the day due to a sleep debt. Otherwise, he may be hyperactive with poor concentration. He may not answer when called because of diminished hearing. He may be underweight and have poor and irregular dentition.

When examined by the doctor he may be found to have enlarged tonsils and adenoids, an inflamed and runny nose, and fluid filled ears.  X-rays and ear tests may show enlarged adenoids or ear fluid, and allergies may be found on testing.

Allergies and inflammation are treated initially with medications, but if the problems recur or do not resolve, removal of the adenoids, tonsils or both is safe and very effective. This will lead to stopping of the snoring and improvement in the nasal and ear symptoms. Draining with tubes may also be necessary to clear fluid from the ear. One must be especially aware of overweight children, as fat deposits in the throat area can, on their own, predispose to snoring. In general, however, most cases of snoring in children can be efficiently treated by medications or surgery, thereby avoiding the negative effects which may accompany this symptom.

Here at Rovier Surgical Suites, we will usually remove tonsils and adenoids as a same day or overnight surgery, and the child goes back to normal living in one to two weeks. If your child needs an evaluation for snoring, call us at 462-2770 or 562-6360 for an appointment today.


Rovier Surgical suites is a boutique medical facility that provides quality healthcare in a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere. Our team of qualified physicians and nurses, ensure that you get the best care and have a smooth and restful recovery.

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