I’m Exhausted: Could ENT Issues be the Cause?

When you think of trouble with your ears, nose, or throat, you likely picture someone having trouble breathing, suffering from a stuffy nose, chronic cough, or painful ears. But one side effect of ear, nose, and throat trouble that you may not think about is difficulty sleeping. If someone has trouble sleeping well, it is possible that ENT conditions are at the source of their problems. Let’s look at several ways that ear, nose, and throat issues can interfere with a good night’s sleep:

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a primary cause of feeling tired all day. For someone who has sleep apnea, they may fall asleep without much trouble, but can wake up many times per night. If you have sleep apnea, you may not remember waking up throughout the night, even though you may be exhausted during the day. Sleep apnea is a condition where someone stops breathing frequently while they sleep. They may awake with a loud snore or snort, starting their breathing again. Signs of sleep apnea can include:

  • Frequent loud snoring
  • Waking up with a snort or gasp during the night
  • Significant sleepiness during the day
  • Trouble concentrating
  • A headache and/or grogginess in the morning
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased frequency of urination

Sleep apnea can have a significant effect on your quality of sleep, so if you are tired during the day and have some of these symptoms, call us for a consultation.

Turbinate Hypertrophy

Like sleep apnea, turbinate hypertrophy may lead to difficulties sleeping well. This condition involves the turbinates, which are small structures within your nose. When these structures become enlarged, this can interfere with your breathing – and these problems can be especially pronounced when you’re lying down. For patients who have struggled with turbinate hypertrophy without relief from medical treatment, there is a quick and minimally-invasive surgical procedure that we can perform to alleviate symptoms.


Another possible cause of feeling tired is allergies. Some people with allergies find they have trouble falling asleep or sleeping well. In part, their inability to sleep soundly may be attributed to the stuffiness and pressure they get from allergies. If you are allergic to your pets, it’s important to keep them off the bed. You may have worsening allergy symptoms at night if you are breathing in pet dander. It can also be more difficult to breathe when you’re lying down, no matter what you’re allergic to. Our allergy treatments may be able to improve your quality of sleep by letting you breathe more easily and sleep comfortably at night.

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is another nasal medical condition that may get in the way of your ability to sleep well, causing chronic sleepiness during the days. Having a deviated septum is quite common; in fact it’s estimated that as many as 80% of people have a septum that’s at least a little bit deviated. However, many of these people have no trouble sleeping because of their condition. Some people do have a septum that is deviated enough to cause problems with breathing and sleeping, leading to feeling tired during the day. Primary signs of a deviated septum are snoring, nose bleeds, and facial pain.

If you are tired during the day, there’s a possibility that ear, nose, or throat problems may be to blame. The ear, nose, and throat experts at West Medical can meet with you to help you understand if there are medical conditions that may be interfering with your ability to get a quality night’s sleep. If you do have ENT problems, we can offer you a range of treatment options. Please reach out to us at (855) 690-0565.

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