Every parent learns that there are times when a child will experience breathing difficulties. With that in mind, it’s understandable to feel extremely concerned about the health of your child. Many parents take their children to an ENT specialist when sickness occurs. These professionals are able to give your child the proper medical treatment for breathing problems. Considering that, here are four common causes of breathing difficulties in children.
- Sleep Apnea
Nearly 12% of all children in the world snore throughout the night. In certain cases, snoring can be a sign of a more serious medical condition taking place including sleep apnea. In fact, statistics show that 2-4% of children have some form of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes someone to experience breathing difficulties in their sleep. That being said, certain sleep apnea sufferers can experience more frequent pauses in normal breathing than others. Many medical professionals recommend using a sleep apnea machine to help reduce, if not eliminate, apneas throughout the night.
- Enlarged Tonsils
One common cause of breathing difficulties in children relates to their tonsils. In most cases, a child’s tonsils are able to trap and collect bacteria. With that in mind, tonsils can work extremely well to prevent children from having to deal with certain types of infections. However, enlarged tonsils can become more of a burden for a child including breathing difficulties. In fact, statistics show that children with enlarged tonsils were almost four times as likely to experience symptoms associated with sleep disordered breathing. With that in mind, enlarged tonsils normally grow as the result of an infection. Tonsils become enlarged due to the fact that they fill with mucus and other bacteria. In most cases, enlarged tonsils will return to their normal size. However, a surgery may be needed to repair tonsils that remain enlarged after an infection has passed. In some cases, more serious breathing problems may need to be treated with airway reconstruction surgeries.
Pneumonia is one of the more serious common ENT problems that children experience. A child often experiences pneumonia as the result of batting a host of other viruses. Considering that, pneumonia usually starts as the result of a respiratory tract infection. This means that it can be difficult to for a parent to diagnose pneumonia until this illness has already become apparent. In many cases, cases of pneumonia and sinus infections are often confused until a medical professional can give you a proper diagnosis. The pneumonia virus often resides in either the upper or lower part of someone’s lungs. If your child is experiencing pneumonia in the lower parts of their lungs, they may experience fever without any breathing problems. On the other hand, pneumonia found in the upper part of the lungs is often the main culprit of breathing problems relating to this illness.
Croup is a condition that is most commonly seen in infants. This illness causes the airways of an infant to become irritated. With that in mind, you’ll want to listen closely to the breath of your infant. If your infant is wheezing and coughing at the same time, it’s likely they’re suffering from Croup. With that in mind, Croup most often affects those who are between three to five months of age. Croup is often accompanied by a fever that is highly contagious within the first few days.
In summary, there are several conditions that can cause breathing problems for children. Certain children that snore throughout the night might be experiencing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause someone to stop breathing at frequent intervals throughout the night. Another condition that can affect the breathing of a child is if they have enlarged tonsils. Pneumonia is a very serious illness that commonly causes breathing difficulties for children. Croup is a condition that normally affects infants, usually between three to five months of age. It’s wise to take your child to an ear, nose, and throat doctor for a professional medical evaluation.