My Blog

By Dr. Andrew Parker
January 22, 2021
Category: Sleep Issues
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Are you keeping your loved ones awake while you sleep? You may have sleep apnea. Visit Dr. Andrew Parker at Parker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County, serving the Norwalk, CT area.

Diagnosing Your Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterized by blockage in the airways as one sleeps. Most people can identify sleep apnea by the very loud snoring that is produced by the blockage at night.

Tools for Self Diagnosis

STOP-BANG is a tool for you to use to assess whether or not you may have sleep apnea:

  • Do you snore loudly?
  • Are you often tired during the day?
  • Have you or someone else observed you not breathing while you slept?
  • Do you have or have you ever been treated for high blood pressure?
  • Is your BMI more than 35?
  • Are you older than 50?
  • Is the circumference of your neck bigger than 40cm?
  • Is your gender male?

If you have answered “yes” to at least 3 of the questions, you may have sleep apnea. Contact your doctor for more details.

Other Ways to Diagnose Sleep Apnea

Your doctor may request that you keep a 2-week sleep diary of your habits, sensations, and occurrences. Take this diary with you to discuss further treatment. 

Another way to diagnose sleep apnea is to participate in an overnight sleep study. Your doctor will ask you to slumber overnight in a sleep facility. You will be monitored by machines to see what your sleep patterns are.

If you feel uncomfortable or are unable to go to the sleep facility, you may complete at-home sleep tests. You will be instructed on how to use the testing instruments and the doctor will collect and interpret the results when the test is done.

Discover ways to feel more refreshed in the morning. Having your doctor diagnose and treat sleep apnea will have you resting soundly. Contact Dr. Parker at Parker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County in Norwalk, CT, at (203) 866-8121 to schedule a consultation today.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
December 10, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  

Are you experiencing troubling hearing? Sounds seem muffled, low, or even absent. At Parker Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield County, your otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Parker may want you to investigate hearing aids. Our Norwalk, CT, area patients benefit from his ENT and hearing exams. Together, you'll determine if you qualify for hearing aids.

What? I can't hear you.

If you've been saying this a lot, you may need a hearing exam. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that normal hearing thresholds are 25 decibels or higher. When your ability to detect sounds drops below this level, you have hearing loss, and it may occur in a single ear or both.

Factors such as heredity, exposure to loud noise, multiple ear infections, and certain chemicals, as well as the aging process, lead to hearing loss. Frankly, hearing loss means more than missed sounds. Poor hearing impairs changes interpersonal relationships, the ability to earn a living and to enjoy music, conversation, and other activities. For children, hearing loss greatly impacts speech, language, and academic development.

How we can help

At Parker Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield County in Norwalk, CT, Dr. Parker, and his team want their patients to have the best hearing possible. As such, they offer state of the art hearing tests which will pinpoint if you have a loss, what kind it is, and if hearing aids would benefit you.

These symptoms indicate you need testing:

  • You ask people to repeat themselves.
  • You have difficulty hearing in theaters and crowded situations, such as family parties.
  • Large gatherings leave you exhausted.
  • You listen to the TV, computer, or radio at a much louder volume than others do.
  • Talking on the telephone is challenging.
  • Words containing s, f, th, or, sh sounds are easily misunderstood.
  • You cannot tell where sounds are originating.

Kinds of hearing aids

Your particular type of hearing loss, its severity, and other factors determine what kind of hearing aid is best for you. Types of instruments include:

  • Behind the ear
  • In the ear
  • In the canal
  • Receiver in the canal middle ear implant

Regardless of your hearing aid type, your instrument will amplify some of the sound frequencies you struggle with. For people with tinnitus or ringing in the ears, your hearing aid will help cancel some of that bothersome sound.

While hearing aids are a great help, they do not correct your hearing to 100 percent normal as your glasses can help with your vision. However, most hearing aid wearers say they benefit greatly from their advanced technology, and they enjoy a clearer sound and better interpretation of sounds when they use their devices consistently.

Learn more

At Parker Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield County, Dr. Andrew Parker has on-site equipment to qualify you for hearing aids as needed. Don't wait to take advantage of his expertise. Call our Norwalk, CT, office for an appointment: (203) 866-8121.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
July 20, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tinnitus  

Why are your ears suddenly ringing?

Ringing or buzzing in the ears can certainly be an annoying problem but the good news is that it’s rarely a sign of something serious; however, it doesn’t leave you any less curious as to why it might be happening. From the office of our Norwalk, CT, ENT doctor Dr. Andrew Parker, here’s what you should know about tinnitus or ringing in the ears, and when it might be time to see a doctor.

Most people who’ve gone to a concert have left with their ears ringing or buzzing for a few hours. This is considered short-term tinnitus. While these bouts of tinnitus are relatively normal and short-lived, it may be disconcerting when tinnitus becomes chronic (lasting for more than six months). In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, as many as 50 to 60 million people in the US experience symptoms of chronic tinnitus, particularly those over age 55.

What causes tinnitus?

It’s important to know that tinnitus is not a sign of disease, it is a symptom of another underlying issue. Ringing in the ears typically occurs when the hairs of the inner ear have become damaged. Again, you can refer to that loud concert above as a prime example. Loud noises can damage these little hairs, which results in ringing.

Other triggers include,

  • Hearing loss
  • Earwax buildup or impaction
  • Certain medication such as aspirin, antidepressants and antibiotics
  • An ear or sinus infection
  • TMJ disorder
  • High blood pressure
  • Inner ear disorders
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Systemic conditions such as Lyme disease or fibromyalgia

If you develop tinnitus that doesn’t go away then it’s a good idea to see our Norwalk, CT, otolaryngologist for evaluation. We can perform a physical examination and run tests to determine the source of your tinnitus. By asking questions about your symptoms and conducting specialized tests we can figure out the cause of your tinnitus so that we know how to properly manage it. For example, if your tinnitus is caused by high blood pressure then medications to control your blood pressure, as well as lifestyle changes, can help lower your blood pressure to reduce or even eliminate tinnitus.

Some infections of the ear or sinuses will go away with home care; however, our doctor can also prescribe certain medications such as antibiotics (if the infection is bacterial) to help clear away the infection and improve your tinnitus. We will discuss your treatment options with you when you come into the office for an evaluation.

If you are living with tinnitus here in Norwalk, CT, and want to find out what’s going on, the team at Parker Ear, Nose & Throat can provide you with the answers you need. Call us today at (203) 866-8121.

April 14, 2020
Category: Hearing Aids
Tags: Hearing Aids  

We can help you choose the hearing aid that will help you hear your loved ones more clearly.

If you’ve dealt with some degree of hearing loss our otolaryngologist Dr. Andrew Parker can help not just diagnose this problem but also provide you with the hearing aid that will help you get back into the conversation again. A hearing aid doesn’t just improve your ability to understand those around you; it can change your social, personal and professional life. The three main types of hearing aids include,

Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids: The main component of this hearing aid lies behind the ear and connects a clear tube to a small bud that sits inside the ear. This hearing aid is used for moderate to severe hearing loss cases.

In the ear (ITE) hearing aids: This type of hearing aid sits on the outermost part of the ear and is designed to blend in with the color of your ear so it’s less noticeable. This type of hearing aid is smaller and can be used in patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Receiver in Canal or Receiver in-ear hearing aids: This type of hearing aid is similar to a BTE hearing aid, the only difference is that the speaker or receiver also sits in the ear so it’s more discreet. This is another option for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Within the three types of hearing aids above you also have a variety of different styles and kinds of hearing aids. These types include,

  • Invisible in canal
  • Completely in canal
  • “Mini” BTE hearing aid

When it comes to choosing a hearing aid there are also five major factors to consider,

  • The hearing aid’s design
  • Any special features it has (or special features you need)
  • The type and severity of your hearing loss
  • Your budget
  • Your lifestyle (e.g. profession; physical activity)

These are factors that you and our ear, nose and throat doctor can happily discuss when you come into his New Canaan, CT, office for an evaluation. If you are interested in a hearing aid that fits inside your ear, just let us know and we will help you find the most discreet option. Of course, thanks to modern technology there are also some amazing, advanced features to consider including,

  • Remote control
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Noise reduction

While you may not need all these advanced features we can talk through them with you so you understand exactly what you are getting from your new hearing aid.

Choosing the right hearing aid isn’t something that you should do alone. Our ENT doctor and his team offer hearing evaluations and comprehensive hearing aid fittings to people living in Norwalk and New Canaan, CT. Call Parker ENT today at (203) 866-8121 to schedule a hearing evaluation.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
March 05, 2020
Category: Sleep Issues
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Snoring  

Do you snore often? More than just an annoying sleep pattern, snoring can indicate sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition. Fortunately, here at Parker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County in Norwich, CT, your otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Parker, can determine if you have sleep apnea and diagnose a proper treatment.

Snoring versus Sleep Apnea

According to the American Sleep Apnea Organization, snoring occurs when throat tissues relax and block the airway. This snoring causes a vibration, which creates a distinct sound. Anatomy, weight, alcohol consumption, and other factors impact the loudness of snoring.

Snoring is also a sign of sleep apnea. The primary difference is a person with sleep apnea will stop breathing for as long as a minute. During sleep, the person snoring may make snorting or gasping sounds.

Obesity, the size of the tongue or tonsils, age, and anatomy of the head and neck can all impact snoring and sleep apnea.

Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea may be the result of a more severe condition such as congestive heart failure or nasal obstruction. Sleep apnea health risks can include:

  • Poor sleep quality, making you tired throughout the day
  • Weight gain
  • Heart conditions, including high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation
  • Stroke
  • Type II Diabetes

Your partner may also suffer from a lack of sleep due to your snoring.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, consult your physician, or contact an otolaryngologist such as Dr. Parker in Norwalk, CT.

A sleep study in a hospital or certified sleep center is necessary to confirm sleep apnea. Some of the items measured while you sleep include brain activity, heart rate, eye movements, respiration, and leg movement. The most critical measure is the amount and number of times your breathing stops during your sleep time.

If diagnosed with sleep apnea, some of the most common preventative measures include the following.

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Devices: These devices provide masks that supply air pressure that ensures your airway remains open.
  • Oral Devices: These pieces are worn in the mouth while you sleep to hold the lower jaw in position and prevent the upper airway from blocking the airway.
  • Weight Loss: Reducing your weight can alleviate some of the worst effects of sleep apnea

Call Us

For more information on your options, call (203) 866-8121 for an appointment with Dr. Parker of Paker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County in Norwalk, CT.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.