Throat


 

When Snoring Begins Deep in the Throat

Snoring that originates from deep within the throat, either because of genetics (i.e., enlarged tonsils, thick base of tongue, thick lateral pharyngeal walls) or weight gain, is considered the most difficult to treat.

Sometimes, the problem is a thick neck; other times it's a very thick base of the tongue. The tongue is an amazingly strong muscle that is difficult to shrink should it be a source of oral airway obstruction during sleep. When the body is relaxed, the tongue naturally slackens and drops back a bit into the throat area. More easily treated is a patient with enlarged tonsils. Tonsillectomy surgery, although not pleasant, is successful in removing the tonsil obstruction and thus widening the oral airway.

Severe OSA Often Requires CPAP or Surgery

With any of the above anatomical issues and this type of intense snoring, more severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is typically present. In these cases, CPAP is still the gold standard of treatment and major surgery may be necessary.

 

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Michael Macdonald, M.D.
500 Sutter Street
Suite 430
San Francisco, CA 94102