Q. Can apnea or swollen tonsil cause sleeping problem?

Answered by
Dr. Mehak Agarwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 14, 2018

Hello doctor,

For a week or more I have not been able to sleep. Right before I fall asleep I wake myself up. It seems like some sort of apnoea event but I do not know if it is related to swollen tonsils or if its a bigger problem. I am going to the doctor this week but wanted an opinion online especially in relation to if my tonsils look normal or not. I am not experiencing any tonsil pain but that area does feel a little more swollen or constricted than normal.



Welcome to

I have seen the video (attachment removed to protect identity). Your tonsils are enlarged. Probably because of that you have apnea. Do you have any history of any chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension, etc.? Are you on any regular medications? Also, let me know your weight and height.

Thank you doctor,

No diabetes or anything like that. My height is 178 cm and weight 94 kg. My wife had tonsillitis last week but like I said I do not have any serious symptoms and also have had apnoea episodes in the past. Last year I weighed 104 kg but then I lost some weight and they seemed to get better.



Welcome back to

Your weight is more for your height. So apnea can be due to obesity. Your enlarged tonsils are not related to your wife's tonsil problem. Your tonsils are enlarged which is obstructing your airway they are not infected. Your uvula is also enlarged and it is even touching your tongue which is again compromising the airway.

Thank you doctor,

So are there other solutions other than losing weight. I am going to lose weight as fast as possible but for the time being are there any solutions? Also, why would my tonsils and uvula be swollen if they are not infected? It seems to have gotten a lot worse quite quickly in the past two weeks.



Welcome back to

You should get sleep endoscopy done which will tell where exactly the obstruction is and if you will need surgery like tonsillectomy or palatoplasty to avoid apnea, polysomnography is another investigation which will tell you the severity of your problem. Reducing weight is a must but that will improve your symptoms gradually. CPAP is another option for treatment. But to come to any conclusions we need to get above mentioned investigations that is sleep endoscopy and polysomnography.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
I have excessive daytime sleepiness. Why and how to treat it?

You have obstructive sleep apnea ... I have excessive daytime sleepiness for the past three years ... I always get sleep during the day...   Read full


The usual symptoms are fever, throat pain, and enlarged tonsils ... Pain on swallowing ...   Read full

How to prevent frequent episodes of tonsillitis?

In these four months, I had few episodes of pain in my ear ... Due to the infection, you suffer from ear pain and swollen neck glands ....   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Monkeypox Virus - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications, and Prevention
Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease. This virus got its name as it was first noticed in laboratory monkeys in the late...  Read more»
Tomato Fever - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Tomato fever is an unidentified and fast-spreading type of viral infection seen in young children. Scroll down to know m...  Read more»
Histrionic Personality Disorder - Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Histrionic personality disorder causes variations in the thinking ability of a person. Read this article to know more.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an ENT Otolaryngologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.