Snoring in children is typically caused by a narrowing of the upper airway. This occurs due to allergies, food sensitivities, obesity, the way the child’s face and sinuses are developing, or enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
Causes of Snoring in Children:
Here are some of the common causes of snoring in children. Sometimes these conditions are not obvious and snoring may be one of the few symptoms present.
Infections of the nose, throat and airways are common cause of snoring in children. The common cold, flu, tonsillitis and sinusitis cause some degree of airway obstruction. Children are particularly prone to viral infections of the airways, especially if they have a history of allergies affect the upper respiratory tract.
Rhinitis is one of the major causes of snoring in children. It is a result of inflammation of the nasal passages due to allergies to one or more substances (allergen). With perennial rhinitis, the nasal congestion and snoring may persist throughout the year or arise when the condition worsens. Seasonal allergic rhinitis worsens at specific times in the year and therefore snoring is more likely to occur during certain seasons.
Overweight and obese children are at risk of snoring. It is a widespread problem. The problem is more likely to progress and complicate over time, and overweight or obese children are at a greater risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
Some medication that can make a child drowsy, particularly if it contain alcohol, will also lead to snoring. It may cause the muscles of the throat tissue to relax beyond the normal degree. Fortunately most kid’s medication do not have alcohol and other substances that may cause significant sedation.
- Structural Abnormalities
A deviated septum is not very common. It is when the bone separating the two nostrils is crooked. Although most people think that it is a cosmetic problem rather than medical issue, a deviated septum can restrict air flow. Surgical intervention to correct a deviated septum can therefore improve breathing.
In severe and long term cases, snoring may be accompanied by these other symptoms:
- Morning headache
- Waking up feeling tired (morning fatigue)
- Sore throat worse in the morning
- Nasal tone to the voice
- Sleepy during the day
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor memory
- Behavioural and academic problems
- Irritable and anxious
Chronic snoring that lasts throughout childhood and into adulthood has been found to increase the chances of illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- Stomach ulcers
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Gastrointestinal tract disorders
- Kidney disease
- Impaired sleep due to snoring can also weaken the immune system
- Impair memory
- Impair physical performance and mental tasks.
- Decrease ability to solve problems
So when is snoring a problem in children?
- If the child snores loudly.
- If there is gasping for air or snorting while sleeping.
- If a child awakens.
- If the child is restless while sleeping.
- If the child sleeps in awkward and abnormal positions.
- If the child has uncharacteristic difficulty awaking in the morning.
- If the child tends to sweat excessively while sleeping.
Natural Ways to Treat Snoring
- Soy Milk: Cow’s milk actually promotes snoring, in people who have lactose sensitivities. The problem stems from the particular proteins in cow’s milk, which can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. The allergic reactions promote congestion, which closes the nasal passages, and increases snoring. Cow’s milk also encourages mucous.
Using soy milk is a good alternative to treat snoring.
- You should also avoid eating fast foods and processed foods. These contain harmful preservatives and additives that can trigger inflammation.
- Use a humidifier: Humidifiers keep the air moist and aid in loosening stuffed airways. A warm air humidifier is best to help prevent snoring.
- Remove allergens: Anything that collects dust should be removed from the sleep environment. Keep carpets and rugs clean, run the fan (well-dusted) to keep air circulating, and make sure all air filters have been replaced.
- Sleep on the side, not the back.
Encouraging side-lying can help prevent snoring.
Sleep inclined. Raise the head side of the mattress. This helps with reflux and snoring.
- Keep a healthy weight. Even our youngest toddlers are overfed and falling into the obesity category. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight can help to eliminate snoring.
- Avoid big meals late in the evening — Don’t eat a big meal right before bed time. If your stomach is full it can push up against your diaphragm, further limiting your ability to breathe easy.
- Replace your animal oils with olive oil, if you want to reduce snoring.
- A mix of tea and honey before bed can help reduce snoring by relaxing the throat. Honey has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce crowding around the larynx.
- Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory characteristics are helpful in fighting inflammation, especially when it comes to snoring.
- Fish: The switch from red meat to fish can make a difference in getting a good night’s sleep when it comes to snoring. The saturated fat in red meat is known to inflame the nasal passage because it generates higher amounts of arachidonic acid, which consequently can lead to swelling of the tissues in the throat and sinuses.
- Onions: onion can be deadly for aromatic breath but a life-saver for snoring problems. They are known to help reduce the symptoms of cold and flu. Onions have anti-inflammatory a decongestant properties and can clear your nasal passages to allow more air to pass through.