By Dr Murray Grossan
Recent studies have pointed to behavior problems, inattention, and crankiness in children as part of the ADHD syndrome (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.) However these behaviors are also seen in children who snore. Even among children expertly diagnosed ADHD, some cleared up their ADHD when the snoring was relieved.
In E.N.T. practice, it is common to see a child who snores and doesn’t sleep well. They are cranky and inattentive, fall asleep in class and don’t smile much. When the snoring is cleared, many of those problems clear up.
In one study, after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy done for snoring and mouth breathing, 50% of the children who were diagnosed ADHD before surgery, no longer had symptoms.
Thus, a child with loud snoring that exhibits ADHD type behavior may be simply sleep deprived and may recover when the sleep problem is corrected, even when the tests are positive for this diagnosis!
Snoring in children has been a concern for years. Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep disorder, where the breathing passage is blocked and less air/oxygen gets to the body.
Occasional snoring due to a cold is not a problem. Of concern is the constant loud snoring, the child that gasps for breath in sleep, or the periods when the breathing actually stops in sleep.
Common causes of snoring include:
• Sinus infection
• Enlarged adenoids
• Enlarged tonsils
• Acid reflux
The snoring child who doesn’t get good sleep often shows:
• Unpleasant breath
• Poor attention
• School difficulty
• Poor growth
• Poor appetite
• Inadequate physical activity
• Fall asleep in daytime
We’ll have more on this next week. Enjoy the holiday!