My Child Snores. Should I worry?

Why does my child snore?Pediatric ENT Austin TX

Parents may get a surprise when they go on that well deserved family vacation. Their little one may be sleeping in their room for the first time in awhile and their sleep looks terrible. Loud snoring, restless sleep, gasping, open mouth posture, and drooling can’t be offering them the deep restorative sleep that they need.

The truth is that this condition which is frequently called upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) is very unhealthy. It may even be severe enough to be obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Snoring is resistance to airflow that makes an audible noise but does not affect the quality of sleep. UARS is resistance to airflow that makes an audible noise and actually reduces the quality of sleep. These children have less deep sleep (slow wave sleep) and REM sleep than they need. These phases of sleep are critical to mental restoration, memory, daytime cognition, physical restoration and growth. OSA is similar to UARS but it also involves periods of cessation of airflow, drops in oxygen concentration in the blood and on top of all the issues with UARS it can cause cardiac issues, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, and other medical issues.

Smart dentists are frequently the first to spot a child with UARS or OSA because the open mouth posture that occurs in these children causes an alteration of the facial growth. They see a high arched and narrow hard palate, anterior overbite, smaller jaw, posteriorly displaced jaw, and significant gum and tooth disease. Left without correction this will create many orthodontic issues.

common causes of snoring, UARS, and OSA in children include:

In our office Dr. Slaughter provides pediatric ENT services and personally evaluates every child with a comprehensive exam, video nasal endoscopy, and a mini CT scan of the nose and sinuses. In some cases a sleep study may also be ordered.

Fortunately, curing UARS and OSA in the pediatric population is typically very easy. Whether it may require and outpatient procedure to remove the tonsil and adenoid, a non surgical balloon sinuplasty or turbinate reduction, simple needle free allergy testing and allergy drops, or modern minimally invasive endoscopic septoplasty, the specific areas of the airway causing this condition can be addressed.

If your little one has significant snoring understand that this is not normal and it may represent something more serious. Come in for an evaluation and get them the deep restorative sleep they need.

By: Daniel Slaughter, MD

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Posted in: Pediatric ENT

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