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.
Could it be spring allergy season again or is your sinus pain being caused by something else?
It seems like the same old song and dance. You wake up with a scratchy throat. You have red watery eyes and a runny nose that just won’t quit. But today, maybe symptoms are starting to feel a bit different. You may even be wondering if perhaps this could be more than just allergies. Our New Canaan, Norwalk and Westport, CT, otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Parker, offers up some convenient ways to distinguish between allergy-related sinus problems and other conditions.
There are many things that can lead to sinus pain and pressure but the three most common culprits tend to be a sinus infection, common cold and allergies. The problem is that it can be very challenging to figure out what could be causing your symptoms. Here are some ways to determine what might be to blame:
Would you classify your “sinus pain” as a feeling of fullness in your face? You may feel achy pressure around the nose and even under the eyes. It may also be accompanied by fever, headaches, post-nasal drip and what feels like a toothache (this is really just referred pain). Through a physical inspection of the nasal passages, our New Canaan, Norwalk and Westport ENT doctor can often determine if your symptoms are due to a sinus infection.
Sinus infection treatment: A sinus infection may just go away on its own or it may require a prescription. If you find that your symptoms persist for over a week, it’s time to schedule an appointment.
While you’ve probably had a cold before, you may not always be able to distinguish if your sinus pain and pressure is the result of a cold or something more. Along with this pain, you may also have a runny or stuffed nose or develop a persistent cough or sneeze. If you do develop a fever, these cold-related fevers tend to be fairly mild.
Common cold treatment: Your body has the ability to fight off a cold on its own, but you will want to make sure that you give yourself the proper care you need such as staying hydrated and resting as much as possible. If you don’t see an improvement after a week then give us a call.
Some allergies can masquerade as the common cold with symptoms such as a runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, and sneezing. Of course, you may be more likely to experience a sudden attack of these symptoms rather than gradually noticing them over time.
Allergy treatment: A lot will depend what you are allergic to. We can provide you with helpful tips for keeping your home as allergen-free as possible, but we can also prescribe medications to manage severe or chronic allergy symptoms.
Don’t let sinus pain get you down. If you’ve been fighting symptoms for far too long and can’t find the relief you need then it’s time you turned to the professionals at Parker Ear, Nose & Throat in New Canaan, Norwalk and Westport, CT, to get to the bottom of your sinus issues.
Are you concerned that your sore throat could actually be tonsillitis?
Every year bouts of nasty viruses infects countless people, causing common problems like sore throats. Initially, that sore throat might not be something too disconcerting, but our New Canaan and Norwalk, CT, serving the Westport, otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Parker, offers up some information on the signs that could be pointing to tonsillitis.
While anyone can develop tonsillitis, this condition that results in inflammation of the tonsils is most likely to infect school-age children. Some symptoms of tonsillitis include:
- Inflamed, red tonsils
- Sore throat
- Problems swallowing
- Patches on the tonsils (they may be white or yellow in color)
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Persistent and unexplained bad breath
Children who have tonsillitis might also have increased irritability, may not have an appetite or might even drool if it’s too painful to swallow.
When is it time to visit a doctor?
It isn’t always easy to know when it’s time to visit your New Canaan and Norwalk, CT, serving the Westport, ENT doctor. Like most people, you may just wish to put it off until the last minute, but it’s a good idea to call our office and schedule an appointment for you or your child if:
- You have a sore throat that persists for more than 2 days
- If you have severe pain when swallowing
- If you are extremely fatigued or feeling weak
It’s important to seek treatment immediately if you are having trouble breathing or if you are finding it nearly impossible to swallow, or if your child is drooling.
How is tonsillitis treated?
Regardless of whether a viral or bacterial infection is to blame, there are many at-home treatments you can employ to help manage your symptoms to help you feel better fast. Rest is always key when it comes to healing. You should also make sure you stay hydrated. Opt for broths and or even ice cream to help soothe your inflamed throat. To help reduce both pain and swelling you can also choose to gargle with salt water several times a day.
If our doctors determine that a bacterial infection is the cause of your tonsillitis then we will need to prescribe antibiotics. These antibiotics are necessary for fighting the infection and all instructions should be followed exactly, even when you start to feel better.
If you are concerned that your symptoms could be that of tonsillitis then it’s important that you give Parker Ear, Nose & Throat in New Canaan and Norwalk, CT, serving the Westport, a call today. The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you will find relief.
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