Almost 15 to 25 percent of infants snore occasionally, and while earlier it was considered cute and harmless, it has now been associated with several health concerns. If you notice your baby is snoring on a regular basis, it could be because of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a condition in which the upper airways tend to collapse, often waking a person up in the middle of sleep.
Some common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, in addition to snoring, are difficulty in breathing while sleeping and restlessness. If snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea, it will be followed by gasping and an obvious difficulty in breathing.
What Can Increase The Risk Of Sleep Apnea In Babies?
- Excess weight or obesity
- A family history of sleep apnea
- Down’s syndrome
- Smoking Parents
The Health Concerns
- Sleep apnea can prevent your baby from getting a restful sleep, which is extremely important for an infant’s proper growth and development. Babies who have sleep apnea find it difficult to sleep for longer stretches of time.
- It can also cause a shortage of oxygen supply to your baby’s brain, which can be detrimental to health. Severe cases could lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- The sudden disruption of oxygen to the brain can also cause learning disabilities such as sleep apnea causes a decline in the number of brain cells, which can hamper the baby’s cognitive development.
- Additionally, babies may find it difficult to concentrate during the day, may become hyperactive or irritable and often cry without any apparent reason.
In order to treat sleep apnea, the first thing is to find out the reason for your baby’s snoring.
- If your baby is snoring due to a cold, try some home remedies to reduce the symptoms, or speak to your baby’s doctor about it. Some foods that can help relieve cold and flu symptoms in babies are clear chicken or vegetable soup, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, fish, citrus fruits, fennel, breast milk, kale and blueberries.
- If your baby’s snoring is due to excess weight, your doctor may suggest a few lifestyle changes and review your baby’s diet.
- Large tonsils and adenoids can often cause sleep apnea and surgery can remove them to help treat the condition.