Can snoring or sleep apnea affect my child’s development?
Snoring is an important symptom of possible obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is when the upper airways (such as the muscles of the throat) close either partially or completely block the normal passage of air through to the lungs. The normal response is for the body to wake up, change position, and open the airway again. In most children large tonsils and adenoids are the commonest cause of this obstruction. If the obstruction is severe, the amount of oxygen in the blood gets reduced. If OSA is significant, there is some evidence that the combination of sleep disruption and intermittent drops in oxygen can negatively impact a child’s physical development (growth) and neurocognitive development. But keep in mind that overall development can be affected by many other factors, such as genes, environment, and parental input.