At one point or another, it’s likely that you will have experienced the frustration that comes from living with a person who snores.
From the sheer annoyance of the sound itself to the lack of sleep it causes, there are really no good points that can be made about it.
Despite the irritation snoring in adults causes, to both the snorer and those around them, it’s a common problem and isn’t particularly anything to worry about.
However this isn’t the case if it’s your child that happens to be snoring.
According to experts at the National Sleep Foundation, everyone will snore on occasion, but only about 10 percent of children snore most nights.
They define snoring as “a noise that occurs during sleep when breathing in and there is some blockage of air passing through the back of the mouth.”
This opening and closing of the air passage causes tissues in the throat to vibrate and how fast these tissues vibrate determines the volume of the snores.
Loud and regular snoring in children is thought to be “abnormal” and while it could simply be that your child has a cold, it could also be a sign of something more troubling, such as an obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
An OSA occurs when the upper airway to the lungs falls in on itself, making breathing difficult.
The NHS says this can cause the body to make bigger efforts to breathe, narrowing the airway further. When this happens, the body senses a problem and the person wakes up briefly before going back to sleep. This process can be repeated several times throughout the night.
So how do you know if your child is suffering with this? Well, snoring might be the first clue, so keep an ear out for how often they’re snoring and how loud it is.
However it’s not the only sign to look out for – if your child is waking up repeatedly throughout the night, they may in turn become very sleepy during the day. They might also be sleeping in bizarre positions which make it easier to breathe.
All of this could also cause changes in their mood and behaviour, so make a note of how they’ve been acting as well if you’re concerned.
In order to determine whether or not your child has an OSA, they will have to undergo a sleep study, which is performed during an overnight visit to a hospital.
The study measures various bodily functions, such as breathing pattern and heart rate.
The results of the study will determine the diagnosis and what happens next.
There are currently several treatments available for OSA, including an ear, nose and throat review, inserting nasal prongs to keep the airway open and CPAP, which involves the child wearing a mask while they sleep which provides them with a continuous flow of air.
If you have any concerns about your child snoring, make sure to speak with a medical professional.