Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition where there is recurrent ‘blockage’ of the upper airway during sleep, leading to reduced airflow to the lungs and sleep disruption.
Snoring is an important symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea, but not all children with snoring will have obstructive sleep apnoea. Children with habitual snoring but no evidence of compromised breathing and sleep disruption have ‘primary snoring’.
It is estimated that overall, three to 12 percent of children have habitual snoring, and one to three percent of children have snoring with obstructive sleep apnoea. Boys and girls are equally affected. The peak age is between four to seven years of age, usually in children with enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. There is a second peak seen in older children above eight years old who tend to be obese.
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