Does Your Child Snore?
The most common cause of snoring in children relates to obstructive tissue in the throat, often caused by large tonsils and adenoids. Adenoids are a patch of tissue high up in the throat, just behind the nose. Tonsils are two small masses of tissue in the throat, one on each side of the base of the tongue. There are other less common issues that may cause snoring in a child such as allergies, throat infections, asthma, a deviated septum, or sleep apnea.
Some children who snore due to allergies may benefit from medications. These may include a nasal steroid, an antihistamine, or possibly saltwater nasal rinses.
If after a consultation with your child’s doctor, the cause of the snoring is determined to be large tonsils or adenoids, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist or ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist. The specialist may recommend surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids to alleviate the snoring.
Infections of the Tonsils and Adenoids
An ENT specialist may also recommend removing the tonsils and adenoids in children who have tonsillitis several times a year. Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils become infected, usually due to a viral infection, which goes away after three to four days. Bacterial infections such as strep throat can also cause tonsillitis and need antibiotic treatment as untreated strep throat can cause serious complications. Tonsil removal is a surgical procedure called a tonsillectomy. Often the adenoids are removed at the same time as the tonsils with a procedure known as an adenoidectomy.
The typical symptoms of tonsillitis are a sore throat, fever, headaches, a decrease in appetite, painful swallowing, and redness of the throat. Symptoms of adenoiditis are noisy breathing or breathing through the mouth, snoring, nasal speech, or halted breathing at times during the night.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are fairly common procedures and are usually done on an outpatient basis. That means your child can have the surgery and go home on the same day. At The Polyclinic, same-day tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are done at the First Hill Surgery Center.