Posts for: June, 2017
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.
Ear infections are quite common during childhood. In fact, a majority of children have experienced their first ear infection by age one. It is not always easy to know for certain if your child has an ear infection, particularly when they are too young to speak and cannot describe their symptoms. There are symptoms you can look for to indicate if your child is dealing with an ear infection. At Parker Ear, Nose & Throat, Dr. Andrew Parker is your ear, nose and throat doctor in New Canaan, Westport and Norwalk, CT and treats ear infections in children and adults.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection
There are several possible symptoms of an ear infection. If your child exhibits any of these, an ear infection has possibly developed. See your New Canaan ear, nose and throat doctor for a diagnosis and treatment if you do suspect an ear infection. Symptoms of an ear infection include:
- Ear aches or pain
- Rubbing the ears
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite or vomiting
- Problems with balance
- Trouble hearing quiet sounds
There are a few treatment options for children with an ear infection. Antibiotics are a common method for treating ear infections caused by a bacterial infection. Ear tubes are another option for treating ear infections. Ear tubes provide ventilation to the middle ear, which can become clogged and develop fluid build-up. Ear tubes are surgically placed in the ear and remain in place for several months. They can prevent additional ear infections by keeping the middle ear clear and free of fluid build up.
If you believe your child is dealing with an ear infection, it is important to seek treatment right away to prevent complications. Ear pain, fluid draining from the ear, fever, difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite are all signs of a potential ear infection. If your child has any of these symptoms, see your New Canaan ear, nose and throat specialist. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Parker, call Parker Ear, Nose & Throat at (203) 866-8121.
Living with a deviated septum not only makes breathing a little more difficult but can also increase your risk of frequent sinus infections. Dr. Andrew Parker, who specializes in ear, nose and throat conditions in Norwalk, New Canaan and Westport, CT, explains how you may benefit from septoplasty, a surgical procedure that corrects deviated nasal septums.
What is a deviated septum?
Your nasal septum is a thin sheet of bone and cartilage between your nostrils. Ideally, each of your nostrils should be the same size. If you have a deviated septum, one side is larger the other. Some people are born with deviated septums, while others develop the problem after a blow to the nose. The condition is very common. In fact, the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery reports that 80 percent of septums aren't centered correctly. If the condition is only mild, you'll never need surgery. However, if you have chronic sinusitis or breathing issues, a septoplasty can help improve your symptoms.
How is septoplasty performed?
Septoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient surgical procedure in the Norwalk, New Canaan and Westport area. You won't have to worry about unsightly scars when you have a septoplasty. The surgery is performed through an incision made inside your nose. During the procedure, the lining of your nose will be carefully separated from the bone and cartilage. After your septum is straightened, the lining will be moved back into place. In some cases, it may also be necessary to remove bone spurs or other obstructions during the surgery. Because you'll receive general anesthesia before the procedure begins, you won't feel a thing.
What is the recovery period like?
Your nose will be sore for at least several weeks after septoplasty, although the pain will probably begin to decrease after the first week. You'll receive prescription medications that will help control your pain.
When you leave the outpatient surgical center, your nose will be packed with cotton that to help keep bleeding under control. The packing can usually be removed in a day or two. Once the swelling subsides, you should start to notice an improvement in your breathing.
Are you tired of living with constant sinusitis due to a deviated septum? Correcting the problem with a septoplasty may provide relief. Call Dr. Parker in Norwalk, New Canaan and Westport, CT, at (203) 866-8121 to schedule an appointment to learn if you are a good candidate for septoplasty.