Posts for category: Sleep Issues
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
- 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
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.
The answer to better sleep could lie in treating your persistent snoring.
Does your partner complain that your snoring is out of control and it keeps them up at night? Are your snoring issues getting worse as you get older? Something could be an indicator that something more serious like sleep apnea is going on. Our Norwalk and New Canaan, CT, otolaryngologist Dr. Andrew Parker can help determine what’s causing your snoring and the best solution to give you a better (and quieter) night’s rest.
When Snoring is a Problem
While many people may snore occasionally due to alcohol consumption, allergies or a cold, if you are someone who snores loudly and quite frequently this could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. During OSA, the upper airways constrict or collapse, blocking off air as well as oxygen to the blood.
Those with OSA do not get the quality rest they need, which can lead to problems throughout the day. If OSA goes untreated this can also lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
While the snorer often won’t notice any symptoms it’s usually their bed partner who alerts them to the issue that is going on. It’s important not to ignore these complaints, as they could be indicators that something more serious is going on with your health. Symptoms of OSA include,
- Loud, persistent snoring
- Daytime fatigue and exhaustion
- Waking up throughout the night gasping for air
- Pauses in breathing while asleep
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth or sore throat
- Mood swings
- Brain fog and trouble concentrating
- Issues with high blood pressure
How an Otolaryngologist Can Help
Here in Norwalk CT, our ENT doctors are dedicated to helping you control your symptoms to get restorative sleep and to prevent certain serious and chronic health problems. First, we will go through your medical history and ask you questions regarding your symptoms.
We will also perform a full examination of the nose, mouth, neck and throat. We will also check for any problems such as a nasal obstruction or infection that could be causing your snoring. If we suspect that your snoring is due to OSA we may recommend undergoing a home sleep study to diagnose your sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is often treated with CPAP therapy, Pillar implants, or surgery in some cases.
If you or a loved one is a chronically loud snorer then it’s high time that you turned to ENT specialist Dr. Andrew Parker in Norwalk and New Canaan, CT, that can treat this issue properly. If you snore or think you may be dealing with sleep apnea, then it’s time to give us a call. Call (203) 866-8121.
Find out why this seemingly innocuous bedtime habit should be treated.
Snoring is a problem that happens to a lot of people. While the occasion snoring-riddled sleep may not be a cause for concern, if you are someone who is snoring loudly and often then our New Canaan and Norwalk, CT, ENT doctor, Dr. Andrew Parker, is here to tell you why it’s a good idea to treat this sleep issue right away.
Why should you treat snoring?
Most people assume that snoring is just an annoying habit but nothing to really worry about; however, your evening snore sessions could be trying to tell you that you have a more serious health problem. After all, the majority of people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are also chronic, loud snorers.
If you are someone who snores regularly, if you find yourself fighting daylong exhaustion, if you find yourself prone to mood swings or if you have trouble concentrating these could all be signs of OSA and you should be evaluated by our New Canaan and Norwalk otolaryngologist as soon as possible.
If you decide not to treat this problem this could lead to some potentially serious issues for your health. Untreated OSA has been linked to numerous health problems including diabetes, heart attack, hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke and heart disease. Plus, those who fight the daytime exhaustion that comes with OSA are also less likely to perform as well at work and are prone to injuries (e.g. car accidents; work-related injuries). To prevent these problems from happening it’s important that you seek an evaluation if you are someone who snores regularly.
How can an ENT specialist help?
Here at Parker Ear, Nose & Throat, we offer a solution known as the Pillar Procedure to safely eliminate snoring and to even provide relief for those dealing with mild-to-moderate OSA. This is a great option for someone who hates the idea of wearing a facemask to bed every night in order to treat their snoring and OSA.
Instead, this quick and minimally invasive procedure targets excess soft palate tissue, which can be responsible for OSA. When you come into our office for this procedure we will first apply a local anesthesia to numb the area. Then small implants are placed into the soft palate where over time the implants will help to stiffen the soft palate to prevent the vibrations responsible for snoring while also keeping the tissue from collapsing and obstructing the airways (another common issue for those with OSA).
If you are living in Norwalk or New Canaan, CT, and are looking for an effective way to treat your snoring issues then give us a call today. Parker Ear, Nose & Throat would be happy to discuss your options with you to help you finally catch those ZZZs.
A lack of sleep may be the most obvious consequence of sleep apnea, but it's not the most serious one. If you don't receive treatment for the condition, it can cause serious health problems. Our Westport, New Canaan, and Norwalk, CT, otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Parker, explains how sleep apnea affects your body.
Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing many times during the night. Although the pauses may only last 10 seconds, the cumulative effect of multiple breathing pauses deprives your brain of oxygen, which increases your risk of developing a range of health problems. Sleep apnea occurs when air can't travel freely from your nose to your lungs. The condition may occur if the walls of your throat become so relaxed that they collapse during sleep or your tongue falls into your airway. Obesity increases your risk of sleep apnea, as does having enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
If you ignore sleep apnea, you might develop heart disease and stroke. The condition raises the risk of irregular heartbeat, heart failure, heart attack or high blood pressure. Every time your blood oxygen level decreases due to a breathing pause, your blood pressure increases. Over time, these drops can be very damaging to your heart. If you're a man, your risk of heart disease may rise significantly. According to the results of a research study published in PLOS Medicine, men aged 40 to 70 with severe sleep apnea had twice the risk of dying as men who did not have the condition.
Sleep apnea also increases your risk of developing certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and metabolic syndrome. When you don't get enough sleep, it may be more difficult to concentrate at work or when you drive, which can make it more likely that you'll suffer an accident. Depression may also be a problem if you have sleep apnea. People who have the condition often report difficulty losing weight or suffer from morning headaches.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Treatment for sleep apnea involves keeping your airway open while you sleep. If a sleep study reveals that you have sleep apnea, we may recommend that you use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine when you visit our Westport, New Canaan, and Norwalk office. The machine delivers a continuous flow of air via a small mask while you sleep, preventing breathing pauses. The alternative to CPAP would be UPPP or Uvula of tonsils or a jaw repositioning device.
Don't put your health at risk due to sleep apnea. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, call our Westport, New Canaan, and Norwalk, CT, otolaryngologist, Dr. Parker, at (203) 866-8121 to schedule an appointment.