During normal breathing, air passes through the throat on its way to the lungs. The air travels past the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, and tongue. When a person is awake, the muscles in the back of the throat tighten to hold these structures in place preventing them from collapsing and/or vibrating in the airway. During sleep, the uvula and soft palate frequently vibrate causing the distinctive sounds of snoring.
Sleep apnea is a condition associated with breath holding. Most patients with sleep apnea will be very loud snorers. Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition associated with chronic fatigue, morning headache, sudden death, and car accidents.
Any person who is a loud snorer and is observed to have breath holding during sleep should be suspected as having sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study. I would suggest that you see your doctor regarding this problem. Fatigue can be related to snoring.
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