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Could snoring be a sign of a more serious health problem?
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While most children occasionally snore, loud and regular snoring is unusual in otherwise healthy children. It could be a sign of a respiratory infection, a stuffy nose or allergies. It could also be a symptom of the potentially serious condition obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when children’s throat muscles relax too much during sleep and block the airway, causing an extended pause in breathing. The brain then alerts the body, causing the child to gasp or snort. The child must wake up to begin breathing again. This may cause your child to lose sleep, be overtired during the day and have behavior problems including difficulties at school. OSA may be related to obesity, allergies, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease or other medical and neurological conditions. In children, the most common physical cause is large tonsils. Having the tonsils removed can effectively treat the disorder.