When to Seek Medical Care
If you or someone close to you is not sleeping well because of snoring or sleep apnea, visiting your doctor may be helpful. This should be by appointment, because these are not emergency cases and sometimes extra time is scheduled for the evaluation.
A doctor's visit may be particularly important if you are doing any of the following:
- Falling asleep during normal waking hours
- Becoming irritable
- Losing concentration
- Becoming depressed
Exams and Tests
A doctor will complete a general physical examination, paying particular attention to your nose and throat.
- Your weight and blood pressure will be evaluated. Your blood may be tested
to rule out thyroid dysfunction.
- An otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) can look into your airway with a fiberoptic 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.
- 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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/15/2014
G Richard Braen, MD, FACEP
Steven C Gabaeff, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Thomas Rebbecchi, MD, FAAEM
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