Ask Dr. Marla: Snoring

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My preschooler snores like a trucker even when he doesn’t have a cold. Is this something I should have checked?

A. Snoring is often due to enlarged adenoids and/or nasal blockage. Your adenoids sit high up behind your nose and cannot be seen when your doctor looks into your child’s mouth. The adenoids, like tonsils, are part of our immune system that fights off infections. The tissue is full of so-called fighter cells that are part of our defense when we are exposed to bacteria and viruses. Interestingly, they are less important as we get older and usually shrink to a considerably smaller size over time. If the adenoids are enlarged or blocking the nasal area, there can be concern for an infection in the adenoids or underlying allergies and/or sinusitis, an infection of the sinuses, which should be identified and treated. Sometimes it might be necessary to remove the adenoids to improve the problem. Removal does not always eliminate concerns about possible underlying causes, but it does reduce sleep disturbances, which can interfere with normal daily functions and mouth breathing, which contributes to dental and gum problems.

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