Snoring: How We Treat

How is snoring treated?

Snoring is one concern addressed in the Breathing Institute

Snoring caused by nasal congestion is usually treated with nasal steroid sprays (such as Flonase, Nasonex or Veramyst) and nasal rinses to reduce the inflammation and swelling in your child’s nose.

If your child snores frequently, seek consultation with his or her primary care provider, who will check your child’s nasal passages and may recommend trying a nasal spray and/or nasal rinses. Your pediatrician should also check your child’s tonsils and adenoids to see if they are enlarged and may need to be removed.

If your child’s snoring does not get better with a nasal spray and nasal rinses, he or she should see a sleep expert.

Some people need to lose weight, change their diets or develop regular sleeping patterns to stop snoring. It may be helpful to remove allergy triggers (stuffed animals, pets, or feather/down pillows and comforters) from the child’s bedroom. The doctor might also suggest medications for allergies or congestion due to a cold.  

If your child has sleep apnea, he or she may be seen by an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) provider to determine if there is anything that can be done to open the airway and make breathing easier. Together with the ENT provider, your sleep doctor may recommend Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to treat your child’s sleep apnea. CPAP is commonly used to treat obstructive sleep apnea by providing a flow of positive-pressure air through a mask to open the upper airway while the child is asleep. The goal of CPAP is to enable the child to have regular, normal breathing, eliminate snoring and restore normal sleep patterns.

Some children with sleep problems need Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) instead of CPAP.   BiPAP has two different pressure settings for inspiration and exhalation. The variation in pressure with breathing patterns may make it more comfortable to use. BiPAP is used in patients that are unable to take deep breaths by themselves. These patients may be overweight, have a neuromuscular disorder (such as muscular dystrophy), stiff lungs (restrictive lung disease) or be unable to breathe on their own (central apnea).

Over-the-counter and other snoring solutions vary based on the cause and include breathing strips, changing sleep positions (from the back to stomach or side) and not eating a heavy meal before bedtime. These kinds of "cures" may work only for someone who snores occasionally and lightly or they may not work at all.

Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s snoring?

Children's Hospital Colorado Sleep Center provides comprehensive clinics to evaluate patients and make appropriate treatment recommendations so that the entire family can return to a normal night of sleep.  Our team of sleep specialists assists primary care physicians with the diagnosis and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with all kinds of sleep disorders.