What are the Causes of Snoring in Children?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 January 2020
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Some of the causes of snoring in children are related to allergy and sinus problems, obstructive sleep apnea, and upper airway resistance. It is also a possibility that a child who snores was born with a smaller than average airway. The excess fat on the neck of an overweight child may put too much pressure on the airway, which could result in snoring. Weight loss may occasionally be enough to stop snoring in overweight children.

Many people believe that when a child snores, it's nothing serious. Snoring in children may occasionally be nothing to worry about, such as when it is a direct result of congestion caused by a cold or allergies. When this is the case, the snoring problem often stops when the sinuses clear up. If a child snores almost every night, the cause could be related to a problem that might require evaluation by a medical professional. Obstructive sleep apnea and upper airway resistance are two possible causes of snoring in children that can be serious.


Obstructive sleep apnea and upper airway resistance are two common causes of snoring in children with other symptoms that are similar. Both problems cause children to snore and awaken several times during the night due to difficulty getting air in and out of the airway. With upper airway resistance, a child doesn't have enough room in the airway to breathe properly while sleeping. This can cause children to wake up because they are snoring loudly enough that they can hear it themselves or because of the difficulty of getting air in and out while they sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea may cause the airway to completely close in on itself, rendering the child unable to breathe at all until he or she wakes up struggling for breath.

Both of these conditions can have lasting complications for the child. Obstructive sleep apnea and upper airway resistance problems break up normal sleep patterns, and affected children who suffer through this for long periods of time could end up with serious learning and behavioral issues. Children who do not get enough sleep may do poorly in school because they are so tired they cannot concentrate. They may also become hyperactive, which might be an attempt at fighting sleep. Many children who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may not have the disorder at all, and their hyperactivity symptoms would likely go away if their sleeping disorder problems were treated instead.



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