Is it sleep apnea if you're at normal weight?

by Naomi
(Great Britian)

My partner is 20, fit and healthy and by no means overweight. If anything he is too thin.

He has pretty much every symptom of sleep apnea, such as being excessively tired during the day, sleeping all the time, incredibly enlarged tonsils, being very agitated during his sleep, snoring loudly and stopping breathing for 10 seconds or more, normally followed by a loud gasp for air.

Whilst he is 'holding his breath' so to speak, you can clearly see him struggling to breathe. Could this still be sleep apnea if he's nowhere near overweight?


Naomi, you describe exactly the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Unfortunately, not only the obese patients can develop OSA, but thin people as well. If you read the page about the causes of sleep apnea, you will see that people with abnormalities of the soft tissue structure of the head and neck can be a serious cause of obstructive apnea.

Swollen tonsils can also be a cause for OSA.

Read the page about how to find the cause of obstructive apnea to help your partner to treat effectively his sleep disorder.

Good luck!

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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