33 answers

5 Year Old Snoring

My 5 year old son snores horribly at night. I have spoken with the peditrician numerous times and he always gives me the same answer. My son has very large adnoids (whatever they are) and he says that is the cause of the problem. Thankfully,he has never had any kind of throat issue (infections..etc) so the peditrician said there is really nothing to do about it. He told me to use a humidifer, which I have always used. When he sleeps I can actually see him struggling for air. I compare it to trying to suck something through a straw that's to big too fit through. What's really odd is that it doesn't bother his sleep at all. He sleeps right through it. It seems worse during allergy season. Has anyone had this experience before? Any suggestions on how to help him breathe better and stop snoring. He's keeping the rest of us up all night! Thanks!!!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the responses. I was very happy to receive all of them. Well, we went to the ENT last week and on June 26th he'll have both his adnoids and tonsils removed! I'm looking forward to him having a peaceful nights sleep!!! Thanks, again!!!

Featured Answers

Usually children with bad snoring suffer sleep apnea,
even without infections. Knowing what I know now
you might consider seeing an ENT to be on the safe
side. Good luck.

My sister is starting to have this problem with her almost 6-year old. Ironically, he just had his adenoids out a few months ago, and the snoring has only started since!

I did read last week that it is NEVER normal for a child to snore regularly and loudly. But I read that it can also be due to allergies. I know that I have never had allergies myself, but am feeling the effects of all the tree pollen right now, which is very high here in the northeast. So it's possible he's developed an allergy, or is just sensitive to all the pollen in the air. Either way, take him to an ENT asap, because that type of snoring isn't normal.

I agree with everyone else 100%, but as far as the noise goes, you might look into a sound machine or white noise and cancel out other noises in the house. It should help you and the rest of the family sleep.

More Answers

M.,

My 9 year old is a active young boy with lots and lots of allergy issues - food and outdoor - and by the time he was 6 months old he was snoring like a grown man - that really didn't bother me or him because it never really interrupted his sleeping - which eventually we figured out why. My pediatrican and I always keep a close eye on him due to his allergies and asthma. At about 6 years old, I needed to tear out my basement due to flooding and mold - none of my children were around for this, however on the night of their return my son had a major asthma attack and was sent to the hospital - due to the mold. This started the immediate process of seeing an allergiest as well as an ENT doctor. They decided at that point to have his adenoids and tonsils removed. Since then my son - who was such a heavy sleeper that he always peed in the bed (and this was because in fact he was never really getting any sleep due to his apnea) and had the "stop breathing" sleep - had an actual 100% turn around.

Since his treatment - and lots of ice cream later - his asthma has never reoccurred (Thank God & knock on wood) and he sleeps a healthy sleep and can even get up to pee and go back to sleep without a problem. He still has allergies - but they are controllable with Nasonex and Cingular during the Spring and Fall seasons.

My suggestion would be definitely to seek a ENT & allergiest as soon as you can..although they may have you wait until he turns 7 just to make sure that his adenoids may shrink (which they did for my son - although his were already the size of an adults by the age of 5) the operation may be the next best thing for you and your son.

I sorry for such a lengthy story but I hope it helps.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had the same problem, large adenoids. They wanted to remove them but we hesitated. She didn't have any recurring throat infection issues like strep, so we just dealt with the snoring. Her speech was also a little nasal because of the size of the adenoids. Good news is that today, she is 8 and they have reduced in size. She still occasionally snores, but nothing like when she was younger. My suggestion would be to just let him be, maybe prop him up a little at night to give him a little help with the issue.
Anne

1 mom found this helpful

Please M. - I am up coz I can't sleep so of course here - I am at the computer- but I HAD to write to you.
My little one snored also and you know what - she was a GREAT sleeper - she slept for 12 hours even!! (sometimes more) I always thought- well she just needs more sleep than her older sister does. well, A couple of incidences with the croup (when she was sick)- and visits to the e.r. =coz I just couldn't stand to hear how loudly she was breathing (scared the life out of me) brought me to the pediatrician one too many times.
I just re-read your post - if you see him ACTUALLY STRUGGLING FOR AIR - what are you waiting for - get him to another doctor!!!!!
PLEASE!!!!

I will tell you that I truly believe that your son is actually NOT sleeping well. I brought my little girl to an ear/nose/throat doctor and she had large adenoids (she also never had throat infections etc.) and we had them removed (she was about 4 years old).
Please know that IMMEDIATELY after the surgery, my Jessica was sleeping well - but ended up sleeping fewer = a more normal amount of hours.
I truly believe what I thought was her just needing more sleep was really that she was exhausted from NOT GETTING THE PROPER SLEEP - which is something we as parents CANNOT tell just from looking at the child.
Truthfully - you know your gut is telling you something is wrong. If he is breathing like he is not getting enough air, THEN HE IS NOT GETTING ENOUGH AIR. One visit to the e.r., a nurse came over to me and said you ALWAYS have to go with your gut instincts. Think about it = this kind of breathing is maybe all he knows - how would he know to tell you - Mommy I am having a hard time breathing?
M. - please if you are actually seeing your little boy STRUGGLING FOR AIR - what are you waiting for? Get him to another doctor - have him evaluated - what good is humidified air if something is actually blocking his ability to breathe.
Help your little guy get the proper quality of life - see a pediatric ear/nose and throat doctor - quickly. If you are in the Queens or Long Island area, Dr. Zelman in Garden City is tops in his field. There are others too -
I wish you well - your son needs you to fix this problem for him, what a difference in my daughter - she is 7 now.
If you need any more info or need to 'talk' please e-mail me back.
Sorry for my zealous response - but the thought of a child having trouble breathing totally flips me out (because I have been through it and it does NOT need to be that way).
wishing you well,
C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M. - Both of my boys have had their adnoids out and even though you may think your son is sleeping well - he most likely isn't and that can affect how well he does in school. My son Billy seemed to sleep really well but once he had them out, he seemed even more rested. If you live in CT I can suggest a wonderful ENT for you: David Karas: http://www.ctentkids.com/med%20David%20CV.htm. He has an office in Norwalk as well. Cannot say enough aabout how great he is. Very personable in addition to excellent care. You could even just give him a call and let him know your concerns. Both of my kids' snoring would keep us up even from down the hall!

Also, once the boys had their adnoids and tonsils (theirs were huge!) out, their eating became better as well. I am not sure if you have that problem.

Good luck to you.
C.

1 mom found this helpful

my daughter who just turned 4 has been snoring since 1 week old. We hear her all night. sounds like she gasps for air at differnet times thru the night. We have went numerous times to pediatrican and i've always mentioned the snoring. I went to see an ENT. He took an xray and scoped her thru the nose (takes 10 seconds and does not hurt) he said her adnoieds are extremely enlarged and is blocking her airway by atleast 80%. He suggested removing them. 2 years ago i said a differnet ENT who suggested the same thing, but I was nervous. This time I said to myself something has to be done. she has hers removed actually this past thursday. she is doing really well no issues or complications. No more snoring, and finally a good nights rest. no more tossing and turning.

1 mom found this helpful

Both my boys had problems with their adnoids and eventually developed throat issues which forced them to have the tonsils and adnoids removed. My boys ENT had put them on nasonex year round and insisted it was safe, but their pediatrician didn't recommend it year round. It is definitely worth speaking to your ENT about.
Also, my ENT had told me that the adnoids start to shrink around 13 years old, so if he has not throat issues you may just have to wait it out.

1 mom found this helpful

hi there, i have a 2 year old who used to snore but he had large tonsils and lots of ear infections. We have recelntly had our tonsils and adneoids removed and grommits inserted in his ears. If i were you i would go to a ENT specialist and have him checked. He might have sleep apina sp? who knows. M ylittle one is sooo much better since his surgery. AS for your little one i would worry about him coming up for air. In a 3 month span Peteys tonsils grew!!! Its just a suggestion. Good luck, M.
ps my husband drives me crazy too!!!!! ha

Hi M., It sounds like you need to see an ENT dr. I don't know if you have insurance or if you do how it works- but with ours we do not need a referral so we just went to one. I don't know where you are located but if you are anywhere in Orange Cty. there is a GREAT pediatric ENT @
Hudson Valley ENT- Dr. Jacobowitz. 2 of my 3 boys go to him- the 3rd lucked out & doesn't need to! Their office is in Middletown just near the Galleria. Hope this helps, good luck.

Usually children with bad snoring suffer sleep apnea,
even without infections. Knowing what I know now
you might consider seeing an ENT to be on the safe
side. Good luck.

They make Breath Right strips for kids now or try nose spray right before bedtime.

Nanc

I agree with everyone else 100%, but as far as the noise goes, you might look into a sound machine or white noise and cancel out other noises in the house. It should help you and the rest of the family sleep.

Dear M.,
You can look up adenoids on kidshealth.org. It says that they usually shrink by the time a child is 5, and they can cause snoring. Perhaps your pediatrician is waiting for this to happen. If I were you, I would take him to an ears, nose, and throat doctor for another opinion.
W.

I'd get some of those breath-right strips for your son to wear at night..... just be sure to use vaseline to remove in the morning.

Yes, with my daugther and I cannot impress enough GET THEM TAKEN OUT! It is a very simple procedure and I felt like we were given a completely new child. She was more cheerful because she was sleeping better and I no longer worried about her getting enough air. Take your son to an ENT and get more information. For us, it was the hardest and best decision we ever made in our lives.

M.,

If he were my child, I would definitely get a second opinion. It sounds as though your pediatrician is not taking this very seriously.

If he has overly large adenoids, they could cause problems in the future, especially if he should get tonsilitis, a strep throat, or basically any illness that may cause his throat to swell. Also, removing his tonsils and adenoids at this age usually only requires an overnight stay in the hospital, and they recover from the surgery very quickly. Once he reaches his teens, or becomes an adult, the same surgery is extremely painful.

Also, because of the fact that he seems to be not only snoring, but struggling to take in air, there is a very real possibility that he may have sleep apnea, which can be very dangerous. It is not common in children, but it is possible. I would definitely have him evaluated by a Sleep Specialist to check him for that, and I would also get a second opinion from another doctor, preferably an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. If this problem, whatever it is, is hindering his breathing while he sleeps, in my opinion this isn't something you want to brush off. You need to get to the bottom of this before the problem gets any worse!

D.

ask to have him tested for sleep apnea.

Hi M.,
I agree with the posts that suggest that you rule out sleep apnea. My son was 21/2 when we had his adnoids and tonsils taken out. He did have sleep apnea. I had to take him to several doctors to get the diagnosis. When they finally diagnosed him, they found out he had VERY little airway to breathe through. He is now 17 and hasn't had a problem with his breathing since the surgery. Good luck, trust your gut, keep looking for the right answers.
R.

Yes. You need to bring your son to an ENT/Allergist. Enlarged adenoids usually need to be removed. They are just a gland like the tonsils that enlarge with allergies and infections. It's a very simple procedure, takes only about a 1/2 hour. I am a nurse who works for a doctor that does both ENT/Allergy in Newburgh, NY. I've been in this specialty for about 3 yrs. I could give you some recommedations of doctors if you need but it sounds like he definitely needs to see an ENT.

go to an ent (ear, nose and throat specialist)

Hello,

I went thru the same thing with my son. Constant snoring and on top of that sound he was grinding his teeth. The dentist told me to have him checked for adnoids and tonsils. Ped said for 2 yrs that they looked fine and not to bother with them. Finally this year she decided to send us to the ENT. It was discovered he has a 90% blockage and needs surgery to have them removed. ENT believes he has suffered from sleep apnea, speak issues as well as dental problems all because of the tonsil/adnoid blockage. Surgery will be at the end of the school year and hopefully this will solve the issues. I recommend you see an ENT and have an evaluation done.

Good Luck and I'll let you know how the surgery went in July!

I would definitely talk to them about removing his adnoids and ask about taking him for an overnight sleep study so they can find out if he has sleep apnea. I would not let your ped push it off as just something that is annoying to you, as it can cause other health issues down the road.

they have started to make breathe right strips for children and as an adult with sinus and allergy trouble i know the adult ones have halped me immensely!! i even put a small adult strip on my 3 yr old when she had a terrible stuffed nose and she was able to sleep thru the night. it was a little hard to take off but if u wet it it may help...good luck!

Hi M., I had my adenoids removed along with my tonsils when I was 4 (That is 59 years ago) I did have many throat infections. I know it must be difficult to listen to him, but if it is not bothering him.... maybe you should see a specialist and find out what your options are, for his sake. My best, Grandma Mary

My 4 year old girl had her adnoids removed April 1st...she snored a lot & it woke her up sometimes. Her adnoids were very large. We debated about having adnoids removed as they say give it time since they're still maturing (& they may outgrow it) but I couldn't wait anymore & so far it was the best thing to have the surgery. So far she sleeps peacefully.

I would take your son to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to get their opinion. I am glad he does not get infections as my son has very large tonsils and he gets Strep pretty easily. He had his "very large adnoids" taken out when he was 2 and hoefully they won't grow back. His were taken out because of constant ear infections and when his 2nd set of tubes went in the adnoids came out. Dr. Adam Pearl is excellent and in Trumbull. Have him checked out...if he is restless during sleep he may be having trouble breathing and is not getting a restful sleep.

Get a second opinion. Insurance will usually pay for that, but if not it could be your sons life. If he looks like he isn't breathing well, then he isn't. Get him checked by someone else. Think about how he wakes up in the morning. Does he sleep late, have a hard time getting up when you want him to? Most likely he is not getting enough sleep. You know in your heart something isn't right or you wouldn't be asking for advice.

My sister is starting to have this problem with her almost 6-year old. Ironically, he just had his adenoids out a few months ago, and the snoring has only started since!

I did read last week that it is NEVER normal for a child to snore regularly and loudly. But I read that it can also be due to allergies. I know that I have never had allergies myself, but am feeling the effects of all the tree pollen right now, which is very high here in the northeast. So it's possible he's developed an allergy, or is just sensitive to all the pollen in the air. Either way, take him to an ENT asap, because that type of snoring isn't normal.

My daughter snored from an infant on. I was always told it was no big deal, etc. I gave her allergy meds, which didn't help. She always got strep throat, and I was also told to just see how it goes as she got older. I switched doctors when she was 9, and I finally got somewhere. They specifically asked me if she stopped breathing at night, etc. and even though she didn't, I was referred to an ENT. When she was about 12, they decided to takle her adnoids out. Well, no more snoring, and no more strep throat!

I would suggest getting a second opinion and/or going to an ENT. Ususally, struggling for breath is an indicator (according to my dr) that the adnoids should come out.

Good luck with evertyhting. I hope your son finds relief soon.

have you tried to see a pediatric ENT (otarynlogist sp?)

Hi M.,
Please bring your son to a really good ENT. Your pediatrian is not adressing the problem correctly. A humidifier is not going to shrink his adnoids. Go with your mother's gut. Good Luck, God Bless.

D.

I recommend getting an appointment with an ENT. Sleep Apena is very common amongst kids who have large adenoids. Adenoids are pieces of tissue that rest at the back of the throat near the tonsils. With kids having sleep apnea, it can damage their heart. My 3 year old had his tonsils and adenoids out. His adenoids were very large and it affected his eating, ear infections and his speech. Since the removal we have turned out completely. With my 5 year old, we did try using Nasonex to see if the steroid would help shrink them. It has some but not what we had hoped. He can't have his out though - as he was born with a cleft lip and palate and that extra tissue (adenoids) help to close off his soft palate so he doesn't have nasal speech. Good luck.

My niece had her adnoids removed. It was a simple procedure. She had to be knocked out. This procedure eliminated her snoring. She was about 4 or 5 years old at the time.

Best of luck!

L.

If he doesn't seem sleepy during the day then he must be getting a good REM sleep. Two friends with 3 yo kids did sleep studies on their kids whose adenoids + tonsils were bothering their REM sleep or making nose runny all the time. Their kids are both getting adenoid and tonsils removed!! One just did a few wks ago and after one week of ice cream, kid was back to running around, eating and happier than ever! Good luck!

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