Snoring in children is a problem

Many children snore occasionally, but about a 3rd of them snores nightly. Like adults, snoring is related to a partial obstruction of the upper respiratory tract. This may be caused by nasal congestion, blocked nose, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis,  enlarged  adenoids and tonsils. When the upper airway is obstructed, sleep is often affected.

The child will have a restless sleep, tossing and turning to the night to look for a position where breathing is easier. The result would be of poor quality sleep with the child waking up feeling lethargic. If this happens over a period of time, the child’s performance in the day would be affected. The child tends to be inattentive and may be viewed as a child with learning problems.

Physical changes can also take place over a period of time. With snoring, the child is often breathing with his mouth. This persistent mouth breathing results in an enlargement of the lower jaw. The upper jaw will become crowded over time. The child will have a flattened mid-face appearance known as adenoids facies.  This child would eventually need orthodontic care.

Treatment is targeted at the  cause. Any reversible conditions such as allergic rhinitis and sinusitis would need to be treated.  If the adenoids and the tonsils are enlarged, removal of these two structures would effectively cure the problem.

With the use of the Coblation technique, recovery from this operation is much more pleasant.