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Doctor insights on: Can Large Tonsils Cause Sleep Apnea In Adults

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Mouth (Definition)

Mouth (mouth) " n. Pl. Mouths 1. A. The body opening through which an animal takes in food. B. The cavity lying at the upper end of the alimentary canal, bounded on the outside by the lips and inside by the oropharynx and containing in higher vertebrates the tongue, gums, and teeth. C. This cavity regarded as the source of sounds and speech. D. The opening to any cavity or canal ...Read more


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I have very enlarged tonsils meeting in midline that cause sleep apnea. Will ignoring/not treating it be dangerous?

I have very enlarged tonsils meeting in midline that cause sleep apnea. Will ignoring/not treating it be dangerous?

Sometimes bad things: In an old Western movie, one guy might shoot another for annoyingly loud snoring. In the real world, sleep apnea (OSA) causes daytime drowsiness and fatigue, so driving can kill someone. Nightly low blood oxygen can cause sudden death from heart arrhythmia. Heart artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, memory problems, morning headache, mood swings, depressed feelings, irritability... ...Read more

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I have sleep apnea and large tonsils with gerd. When i fall asleep, after a few seconds i suddenly wake up and i feel like my heartbeat stop.?

I have sleep apnea and large tonsils with gerd. When i fall asleep, after a few seconds i suddenly wake up and i feel like my heartbeat stop.?

Dangerous: You need to be evaluated by a doc. Of sleep medicine. Your airway may be blocked when sleeping by tongue and tonsils. A sleep study would answer some of those questions. What you described can be dangerous and should be looked into as soon as you can. If you already have a cpap, then check if the pressure setting is right for you. ...Read more

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Its hard for me to breath due to large tonsils and acid reflux, is it possible to affect my heart aside from my sleep apnea that posible 2 afect my <3?

Its hard for me to breath due to large tonsils and acid reflux, is it possible to affect my heart aside from my sleep apnea that posible 2 afect my <3?

Seek an ENT: Your apnea could be directly a result of your tonsil assuming rest everything( bmi etc) is within normal limits, get help it will also help withyour acid reflux. ...Read more

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Am sure i don't have sleep apnea. Am not overweight. Father.Mother.Brother also snore. . I have large tonsils could it be the reason. Treatments?

Am sure i don't have sleep apnea.  Am not overweight. Father.Mother.Brother also snore. . I have large tonsils could it be the reason. Treatments?

Need to be tested: Without a study, you can't know. Tonsils can obstruct airflow, and if blocked long enough, that is the definition of obstructive sleep apnea. Tonsil removal may be all you need, but you need an exam. Tonsils may only be part of the problem. Often it is not enough. Apnea is common in skinny people. ...Read more

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I have sleep apnea, large tonsils, gerd. Everytime i fall asleep after a few sec, i wake up with heart pounding and making me panic. Is it anxiety?

I have sleep apnea, large tonsils, gerd. Everytime i fall asleep after a few sec, i wake up with heart pounding and making me panic. Is it anxiety?

Needs exploration: Dr donley made some good points. The sleep apnea can cause one to wake up feeling anxious and gasping for air. The only way to know if there is a separate anxiety issue is to correct the sleep apnea and to assess. ...Read more

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Could I have obstructive sleep apnea without having enlarged tonsils?

Could I have obstructive sleep apnea without having enlarged tonsils?

Of course: Sleep apnea is due to obstruction of the oropharyngeal airway usually at the level of the tongue or epiglottis. Two-thirds of patients with OSA are overweight and fatty infiltration of the neck and tongue may also contribute to airway obstruction during sleep. ...Read more

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Help! Is it possible to have obstructive sleep apnea without having enlarged tonsils?

Help! Is it possible to have obstructive sleep apnea without having enlarged tonsils?

Yes: In addition to possible causes provided in another answer, an elongated wide soft palate and uvula as well as a large tongue may also contribute or cause obstructive sleep apnea (Mallampati score and Friedman tongue position may be used as preliminary indices). ...Read more

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I have chronic severely enlarged tonsils meeting in midline. I know I snore. What are the chances I have sleep apnea?

I have chronic severely enlarged tonsils meeting in midline. I know I snore. What are the chances I have sleep apnea?

Mgt: I would suggest an inbox consultation. You may have sleep apnea, based on your risk factors, but more information may be provided during the consult ...Read more

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Is sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids?

Is sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids?

See ENT to evaluate : Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can inhibit airflow and thereby contribute to sleep apnea. See an ENT to evaluate these tissues as well as checking for nasal polyps and deviated septum. ...Read more

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I have grade 4 enlarged tonsils causing mild to moderate sleep apnea (AHI 10, nadir SpO2 88%). One dr said tonsillectomy other said CPAP. What's best?

I have grade 4 enlarged tonsils causing mild to moderate sleep apnea (AHI 10, nadir SpO2 88%). One dr said tonsillectomy other said CPAP. What's best?

Both: unless you were born with extra tonsils you have 2 adult tonsils and adenoidal tissue. Either tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy plus C-PAP will be beneficial. ...Read more

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I have a goiter as well as enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Possible sleep apnea. Can goiter play a role in sleep apnea or just soft palative tissues?

I have a goiter as well as enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Possible sleep apnea. Can goiter play a role in sleep apnea or just soft palative tissues?

Yes: Yes, obstructive sleep apnea is worsened by any factors that create blockage in the upper airway (throat). Extra tissue in a redundant ('floppy') soft palate, hypertrophied adenoids or tonsils, or even, rarely, a thyroid enlarged by goiter large enough to push the airway inward and narrow it further. ...Read more

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I have very large tonsils causing sleep apnea. Saw two ENTs: one recommended CPAP and the other surgery. Doing well on CPAP so should I skip surgery?

I have very large tonsils causing sleep apnea. Saw two ENTs: one recommended CPAP and the other surgery. Doing well on CPAP so should I skip surgery?

Your choice: If CPAP has taken care of your symptoms and you are sleeping well at night, then surgery to remove your Tonsils is not required. ...Read more

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Hi doctors, my breathing stops during my sleep, sore throat and enlarged tonsils plus sleep apnea. Help?

Hi doctors, my breathing stops during my sleep, sore throat and enlarged tonsils plus sleep apnea. Help?

See your doctor: If you have diagnosed sleep apnea, presumably you have had a sleep study ordered by a physician. Please follow up with that doctor who can outline treatment plans given that diagnosis, or refer you to a sleep physician specialist. ...Read more

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What can cause my 8 year olds sleep apnea if it not adnoids or tonsils.I don't want her on a cpap forever?

What can cause my 8 year olds sleep apnea if it not adnoids or tonsils.I don't want her on a cpap forever?

Possible : It could be the structure of your child's face. For example if there is a narrow upper arch. It might also be allergies that prevent your child from breathing through the nose. I would suggest talking with your sleep physician about what could be causing the problem and possible solutions other than cpap. ...Read more

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What causes obstructive sleep apnea in children who already have their adenoids & tonsils out?

What causes obstructive sleep apnea in children who already have their adenoids & tonsils out?

Sleep apnea: Is your child in the normal weight catagory- if they are heavier or their body anatomy like a narrow palate or thick neck could cause a smaller airway that may be a factor. They may need orthodontia to help open the air way. ...Read more

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What can cause obstructive sleep apnea in children that already have their adenoids & tonsils out?

What can cause obstructive sleep apnea in children that already have their adenoids & tonsils out?

Other causes: An enlarged tongue, a retruded lower jaw, excess tissue in the soft palate, a deviated septum, enlarged nose turbinates or nasal polyps can all contribute to obstructive sleep apnes. Check with your doctor. ...Read more

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Dr. Patricia Mcgarry
440 doctors shared insights

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Definition)

Sleep apnea has two causes. It may be 'central' or 'obstructive'. Central apnea occurs as a disorder in the way the brain controls breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common and involves an anatomical blockage of the airway. Usually, the tongue blocks the airway, preventing the passage of air between the a sleep study is needed to diagnose particular ...Read more


Dr. Patrick Melder
1,056 doctors shared insights

Apnea (Definition)

This is the cessation of breathing for 10 seconds or more. Most apnea is obstructive being caused by collapse or obstruction of the airway leading to lack of air flow. However, it can be a central process, where the respiratory center of the brain fails to signal the respiratory respiratory system to initiate a breath. Lastly, some apnea is mixed central ...Read more