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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Ear Nose and Throat

Question: Snoring and Mucosal Thickening...


ravenous_wolf - Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:53 pm

My wife insists that my snoring has to come to an end.

Over two years ago I visited my primary care physician. He prescribed Rhinocort and Allegra. My insurance wouldnít cover Allegra but my PCP said that Claritin would be fine. He also requested that I get a CT scan.

Afterwards, he told me that the CT scan said that I have mucosal thickening and referred me to an ENT.

That was two years ago and big events in my life interrupted my trip to the ENT. I stopped taking the Rhinocort and I take Claritin on occasion.

Soon, I shall return to my primary care physician and ask him about the snoring and get this started all over again.

My first question is, how do I approach my doctor in a tactful way that ďI blew him offĒ for a couple of years but I am back. I am sure that happens all the time but I feel embarrassed.

Second question, if I get another CT scan to once again show that I have mucosal thickening, thus getting referred to an ENT, what kind of tests will an ENT do? Yes, I am a big chicken if someone wants to stick something up my nose. And what kind of treatments will an ENT prescribe for mucosal thickening?

As for snoring, I snore like a freight train. The purpose in going to an ENT or going to anyone is to stop the snoring, not necessarily to stop the mucosal thickening.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Shannon Morgan, CMA - Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:15 pm

CT scans are generally what are done to diagnose mucosal thickening. Did the treatment before help? I am assuming it did, but you didn't state that in so many words.

Has sleep apnea been ruled out? Are you mildly or moderately overweight? High blood pressure? Sleepy during the day?

Don't worry about "blowing off" your doctor; they see this all the time, and your case wasn't a life threatening problem. :D
ravenous_wolf - Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:40 pm

Ilovepatients wrote:
CT scans are generally what are done to diagnose mucosal thickening. Did the treatment before help? I am assuming it did, but you didn't state that in so many words.

Has sleep apnea been ruled out? Are you mildly or moderately overweight? High blood pressure? Sleepy during the day?

Don't worry about "blowing off" your doctor; they see this all the time, and your case wasn't a life threatening problem. :D


The treatment provided a bit of relief.

I didnít realize that I was not using the nasal spray properly until I almost ran out of it. The Claritin helped a bit too. At that point in time, I always assumed that everyone was as congested and stuffed up as I was. I had always been this way for over 30 years and never knew anything different.

Now I am cognizant that I am continually congested. I have more or less stopped taking Claritin unless I am severely clogged up.

My doctor didnít say anything about sleep apnea.

Yes, I am mildly or moderately overweight. My beer belly looks like I am pregnant if I bend over. I am actually thin but with a beer belly so I have the worst of both worlds. Because of high Cholesterol, I have changed my diet and have tried to include more activity in my life but I have a ways to go in making more drastic lifestyle changes.

Years ago my blood pressure was a bit elevated but now that it has been checked, it is actually within normal limits.

Yes, I have been sleepy during the day for years.

I donít know if that is more of a mental thing. At times I have a lot of stress and it takes a while for me to get into a deep sleep. In addition, my wife doesnít want me to sleep on my back because my snoring gets worse, thus I end up with worse sleep when I donít sleep on my back.

My current and previous primary care physicians have prescribed me sleeping pills but I never wanted to take them. I have gotten several prescriptions to Ambien but I am way too chicken to take them. I donít want to be drugged out when I go to bed (although I guess I donít mind when I have had too many beers).

My current physician prescribed something that he said that was better than Ambien in that it used to for treating Depression but it doesnít have the addictive nature of Ambien. He even suggested that I take half a pill until I was ready to take the entire tablet.

But if this will help stop my snoring, then I will start taking that.

I am assuming that if my doctor requests that I get another CT scan and it confirms that I have mucosal thickening, when would an ENT give me as treatment?

I really want my snoring to end so I am curious what kinds of treatments are in store for me.

By the way, I can a very good guess on what mucosal thickening is, but what causes it and what does it do to my body other than cause me to snore?
Shannon Morgan, CMA - Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:19 pm

The thickening can be caused by various obstructions, which were more than likely ruled out in the CT. It can result from allergies, also.

The treatment you were on is what is suggested; some doctors also add guafenisen, which thins the mucous and lets it drain.

Surgery isn't done unless there is an obstruction like deviated septum or polyps for example, which were ruled out in your case.

If your ENT wanted another CT, he would probably wait on treatment until after the CT.

Something you may not know, is that if you drink in the evenings, even a couple of beers, it will interrupt your sleep. It will make you sleepy at first, but will cause you to awaken during the night, thus when you get to deep sleep, you are more likely to snore. Just an FYI. :D

What did your doctor prescribe in the way of a sleep aid? He probably gave you an anticonvulsant, which can be much milder than addictive drugs. I would suggest you try the half tablet to get more even sleep and see if that doesn't reduce the snoring, too.

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