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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it possible for children to get sleep apnea?

    I think my child could have sleep apnea, although he is only 3 years old, is it possible for children to get sleep apnea?
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    Dr Peter Solin

    Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician

    Dr Peter Solin is a highly trained authority in sleep disorders medicine and respiratory medicine, having graduated from Melbourne University in 1987 and undertaken specialist … View Profile

    Milder forms of sleep apnoea in children are very common, and they largely relate to a blocked or partially blocked nose, which includes the adenoid glands at the back of the nose, and also enlarged tonsils. In general a three-year-old child should not snore, and should have relatively easy breathing, with sleep being fairly continuous and not being broken up by tossing and turning.

  • 4

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    Dr David McIntosh

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    David McIntosh is an Australian trained ENT surgeon with international experience. His areas of interest are paediatrics, nose and sinus disease, and providing access to … View Profile

    Yes it is. In fact children are not supposed to snore except in the usual circumstances of having a cold or being very tired. As snoring is a noise made by some part of the upper airway being blocked, bad blockages can result in sleep apnoea. This is serious in any age group and you should seek a prompt ENT appointment. 

  • Dr Sim Choroomi

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Yes it is certainty possible for children to develop sleep apnea. Evaluation by an ENT specialist is recommended and a sleep study may or may not be needed depending on history and examination findings at your visit.

    Snoring, sleep disordered breathing and apnea can all occur in varying degrees of severity. If there is correlation to very large tonsils or adenoids then an operation to remove them may be warranted 

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