You may not be aware that you snore, but your bed partner likely is. Seeing your doctor about your snoring can benefit both of you.A doctor's visit may be particularly important if you are doing any of the following:
- Falling asleep during normal waking hours
- Losing concentration
- Becoming depressed
- Becoming irritable
A doctor will complete a general physical examination, paying particular attention to your nose and throat.
An otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) can look into your airway with a fiber optic device to see if the nasal passages are open or partially blocked (septal deviation) or if there are any masses (tumors) present in your nose, throat, or upper airway that may be causing the snoring.
- Your weight and blood pressure will be evaluated. Your blood may be tested for thyroid function.
- For severe cases, you may be referred for a sleep laboratory test. This overnight test monitors up to 16 different bodily functions while you sleep. The results of these tests can help define the level and severity of sleep apnea if it is present.
The patient can also be examined by sleep endoscopy. The patient is given a medicine (midazolam) to induce sleep in this procedure. The patient’s throat and nasal passages are examined with flexible laryngoscope.
Sleep endoscopy in many cases reveals obstructions that are not clear during a standard physical examination of the throat. With this test, obstructions at more than one level are found in breathing passages in many patients.