My Blog

Posts for: December, 2015

By Dr. Andrew Parker
December 23, 2015
Category: Health
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing is restricted or paused for a period of time while you sleep.

Pauses in breathing can occur up to 30 times an hour, and may last for only a few seconds or up to several Sleep Apneaminutes. Breathing will typically restart again with a loud choking or snoring sound.

The inability to breathe properly results in poor quality of sleep. When your breathing becomes restricted, it pulls you out of deep sleep and into a lighter stage of sleep. Your sleep then becomes less restful, and you’re likely to feel extremely tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the most common causes of severe daytime sleepiness.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the airway becomes physically blocked, is the most common type of sleep apnea. Over 12 million Americans suffer from it, including men, women, and children of varying ages and health conditions. However, there are certain factors that increase your risk:

  • Male
  • Overweight
  • Middle-aged or older
  • Of African-American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander heritage
  • Have swollen tonsils or throat tissues
  • Have a deviated septum in the nose

Central sleep apnea is a condition in which the brain does not send the correct breathing signals to your body. This condition can occur in anyone, from older adults to very young babies. Factors that may increase your risk for central sleep apnea include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Neurological disorders
  • Kidney failure
  • Hypothyroid disease
  • Damage to the brainstem from stroke, encephalitis, or trauma

Complications of Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Auto and work-related accidents

Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment and management. Lifestyle changes, specialized mouthpieces, breathing machines, and surgery are treatment options that help many people successfully manage their sleep apnea.

New Canaan Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you suspect that you or someone you care about may be suffering from sleep apnea, don't hesitate to get help. The sooner the condition is recognized and treated, the faster your health and quality of life will improve.

For diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea in New Canaan, schedule an appointment with Andrew J. Parker, M.D.Dr. Parker is a board-certified otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor). Request your appointment now or call 203-866-8121 to get on the path to better sleep and a healthier life.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
December 21, 2015
Category: Health
Tags: Sinus Pain  

Sinus pain is an annoying, uncomfortable condition to deal with, potentially putting you out of commission for weeks at a time. Luckily, relief is available at your Westport, CT ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. Andrew Parker, MD at Parker Ear, Nose and Throat.Sinus Pain

Why does sinus pain occur? 
Sinus pain can come from many sources. More often than not, sinusitis is to blame. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the nasal sinus, and can be one of the following varieties:

  • Acute: lasting less than four weeks
  • Chronic: lasting longer than four weeks
  • Reoccurring: acute sinusitis that keeps coming back

Allergies may also cause uncomfortable sinus pain. Additionally, blockages in the passage that allows mucus to drain from the nasal cavity cause pain. At-home treatments like applying warm compresses to the face or using a neti pot to clear sinuses are sometimes not enough to open blocked passageways. The best way to determine the best course of treatment or how severe your condition is is to consult with our doctor.

Treatment Options for Sinus Pain
Sinus pain can be an irritating problem. Luckily, there are many treatments available. Some common treatments for sinus pain include:

  • Allergy medication: Sinus pain is often caused by untreated allergies. Your doctor can test to determine if allergies are causing your sinus problems. Antihistamines, which control allergic reactions, could be a simple answer to your sinus pain.
  • Antibiotics: If a bacterial infection is causing your sinus pain, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics are only effective in cases of bacterial infections, and will not help with a viral infection.
  • Decongestants: Decongestants help reduce the presence of mucus in the nasal cavity. However, they should not be taken for more than a week.
  • Nasal steroid sprays: Prescribed by your doctor, steroids can be inhaled to bring down the swelling of the membranes in the nasal passage. Oral steroids may be prescribed in more severe cases.
  • Surgery: Surgery to open the nasal passage and flush the nasal cavity may be required in cases of reoccurring or chronic sinusitis. Your surgeon will use special tools to remove blockages and restructure the walls of the nasal passage to allow mucus to drain normally.

If you are suffering from sinus pain, contact Dr. Andrew Parker at Parker Ear, Nose and Throat in Westport, CT for more information. Call 203-866-8121 to schedule your appointment today!