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Posts for tag: Snoring

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.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
January 11, 2018
Category: Sleep Issues
Tags: Snoring  

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 snoringconcern, 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.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
June 29, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: Snoring  

Desperately looking for a quiet night’s sleep? Then it’s time to turn to our ENT specialist for help.

Snoring is an all-too-common issue that can keep couples and families from enjoying the much-needed sleep they snoringdeserve. Unfortunately, the snoring culprit also doesn’t get the quality, sound sleep they need to feel rested. Whether you or a loved one is a chronic snorer, it’s time you turned to our Norwalk, Westport and New Canaan, CT ENT doctor, Dr. Andrew Parker, for help.

Snoring can but isn’t always a sign of a more serious issue known as sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop or slow down up to hundreds of times throughout the night. Sleep apnea can cause extreme daytime fatigue and increase your chance for developing a more serious health problem like heart disease. If your snoring might be due to sleep apnea then it’s time you gave Dr. Parker a call.

Non-Invasive Treatment Options in Norwalk, Westport and New Canaan

Sometimes snoring can be reduced or even eliminated through more conservative approaches such as special nasal devices, positional therapy, over-the-counter remedies or even a custom-made oral appliance (which can be great for patients whose snoring is due to sleep apnea). If you want to find out which treatment option is the best one for treating your symptoms then it’s time you turned to our ENT doctor for a consultation.

Other Treatment Options in Norwalk, Westport and New Canaan

While some patients may find the relief they need through one of the non-invasive measures, it doesn’t always work for everyone. If your snoring is severe and affecting the quality of your sleep then you may want to consider your surgical options:

Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy: Tonsils and adenoids are common causes of snoring and sleep disturbances, particularly in children. While this isn’t as common an issue for adults, sometimes removing enlarged or problematic tonsils or adenoids is all that’s needed. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and recovery time can take up to a week.

Nasal Surgery: If you have nasal congestion then you may notice that it goes hand-in-hand with your snoring symptoms. Issues that cause nasal obstructions such as nasal polyps, a deviated septum or even allergies may be to blame for your snoring. While steroidal nasal spray and other allergy treatments can help some of our patients, sometimes the best and only option is to get nasal surgery.

Don’t let snoring impact your whole family. Turn to our ENT office for the care you or a loved one should have. Call us today to get a better night’s sleep. You deserve it!

By Dr. Andrew Parker
April 01, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: Snoring  

Snoring is often the butt of jokes, but this common sleep problem isn't a laughing matter. Snoring can actually be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious condition that can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes if untreated.Sleep Apnea Your New Canaan ear, nose and throat doctor, Dr. Andrew Parker, is here to explain why snoring can be so dangerous.

What happens if I have sleep apnea?

Your entire body relaxes when you sleep, including your throat. As your throat muscles relax, your airway becomes narrower and your tongue falls back toward your throat. Snoring occurs when your throat walls vibrate when you breathe. In some cases, your throat walls completely collapse while you sleep. When this happens, you stop breathing for a few seconds.

This cessation of breathing can happen many times throughout the night. Each time it does, your brain and body don't receive needed oxygen. Over time, lack of oxygen can not only cause high blood pressure and heart disease, but can also increase your risk of developing depression, pre-diabetes and diabetes.

How do I know that I have sleep apnea?

You won't know for sure that you have sleep apnea until you visit an ear, nose and throat doctor, but there are a few signs that can indicate that you may have the condition, including:

  • Loud snoring
  • Jerking awake during the night
  • Gasping for breath or choking while your sleep
  • Pauses in your breathing at night (Someone else may notice that you do this.)
  • Feeling tired during the day
  • Gaining weight
  • Irritability or depression
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention

How can my doctor help?

If your doctor suspects that you have sleep apnea, he will recommend a sleep study in a lab or a home sleep apnea test. These test measures how often you stop breathing during the night. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend that you use an oral appliance to prevent your airway from collapsing while you sleep or may suggest that you try a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP users wear a special mask that keeps their throats open with a constant stream of air. In some cases, surgery can be helpful although other treatments are usually tried first.

Concerned that you may have sleep apnea? Make an appointment with your New Canaan ear, nose and throat doctor, Dr. Andrew Parker, by calling (203) 866-8121. Don't let your snoring put your health at risk!

By Dr. Andrew Parker
March 21, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: Snoring  

Most people have probably heard of sleepwalking and night terrors, and possibly sat through a movie or t.v. show where a character is plagued by weird sleep problems, which in turn usually lead to all kinds of shenanigans in the Sleep Apnea middle of the night, all beyond the character's knowledge or control. While not as dramatic as sleep walking or night terrors, chronic snoring, while also rife with comedy gold on t.v. and movie screens, can actually be a symptom of a potentially serious health condition.

Sleep Apnea - Not All Snoring is Created Equal

Sleep apnea is a condition where the signals between the brain and the muscles that control breathing malfunction, causing people to actually stop breathing in their sleep for seconds at a time. The snoring associated with sleep apnea results from the muscles relaxing in the throat. Norwalk, CT based otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) Dr. Andrew J. Parker diagnoses and treats disorders like sleep apnea, and advises patients to look out for some of the following warning signs:

  • Excessive fatigue and exhaustion throughout the day even after a full night's sleep
  • Loud chronic snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Mouth breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Depression
  • Weight gain

Some of the symptoms or side effects of sleep apnea, which can cause serious problems to a person's physical, emotional, and mental health result from the sleep deprivation associated with the condition. It can take some time for people to realize they are suffering from the condition until someone observes the pauses in breathing while they are asleep, or they seek professional help for their symptoms.

Treatment for Snoring in Norwalk

A little snoring here and there is generally harmless. However, prolonged snoring accompanied by certain symptoms can be a sign of sleep apnea. To learn more about the condition and whether you might be suffering from it, contact Parker Ear, Nose & Throat at 203-866-8121 to request an appointment today.