An ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) may examine the throat, neck, and inside of the mouth to diagnose the cause of snoring. You're likely to see your family doctor or a family doctor first. However, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating sleep disorders. An otolaryngologist will first examine the airways for signs of a physical obstruction.
For some people, prescription medications may help relieve snoring and sleep apnea. Others may find relief with sleep apnea masks or a surgical procedure. People with loud snoring who constantly snore in any position or who have a negative impact on the sleep of a bedmate should see a doctor to make sure that sleep apnea is not a problem. There are some additional ways to stop snoring, however, it is best to check with your doctor or sleep professional first.
There is no easy way to distinguish between the two, so if you or a loved one is snoring, talk to your doctor if you should be tested for sleep apnea. The doctor will also examine the throat and nasal passages for any signs of nasal, oral, dental, jaw, or throat deformities that may contribute to snoring. After consulting with the appropriate doctor, snoring is likely to stop or at least become lighter. The following information will help you prepare for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
To eliminate snoring and prevent sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Or better yet, ask your sleeping partner to come with you to the appointment so they can talk to the doctor about your symptoms. If snoring is affecting you or your partner's well-being, it's important to see your doctor for evaluation. Because the snorer does not rest well, he may be sleepy during the day, which decreases his performance.
To diagnose your condition, your doctor will review your signs and symptoms and your medical history. Depending on the severity of your snoring and other symptoms, your doctor may want to perform a sleep study. Of course, seeing a doctor may not be the first thing that comes to mind if you notice that you or your partner has problems with snoring. Several examinations with an otolaryngologist for snoring can help to get to the core of the disease faster.
In addition to the questions you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask them during your appointment.