Could snoring be a sign of a more serious health problem?

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A. Most children seldom snore, so loud and regular snoring is unusual in otherwise healthy children. It could be a sign of a respiratory infection, a stuffy nose or allergies. It could also be a symptom of the potentially serious condition obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when children’s throat muscles relax too much during sleep and block the airway, causing an extended pause in breathing. The brain then alerts the body, causing the child to gasp or snort. The child must wake up to begin breathing again. This may cause your child to lose sleep, be tired during the day and have behavior problems including difficulties at school. OSA may be related to obesity, allergies, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease or other conditions. The most common physical cause is enlarged adenoids and tonsils. Having the adenoids and/or tonsils removed can effectively treat the disorder. If you have concerns about your child’s snoring or possible OSA, contact your child’s pediatrician.


Ngoc-Diep T. Nguyen, MD
Charlotte Pediatric Clinic-Steele Creek

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