Posts for: May, 2018
Snoring is normally an occurrence that affects your bed partner more than yourself and is normally nothing to worry about. However, it can sometimes be the sign of a condition called sleep apnea, which, if left untreated, can turn into a severe and complicated illness. Learning the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can help you and Dr. Pankaj Gupta diagnose and treat sleep apnea early. Find out more about sleep apnea and its treatments with Dr. Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.
What is sleep apnea?
By definition, an apnea is a temporary stop in breathing. Sleep apnea occurs when someone experiences pauses in their breathing while asleep, resulting in shortness of breath, gasping, and other symptoms. Sleep apnea most commonly occurs due to an obstruction of the airway in a condition known as obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea may also occur due to mixed or failed signals between the brain and lungs which results in apneas, classified as central sleep apnea (CSA). Someone may have both types of sleep apnea, a condition known as complex sleep apnea.
Do I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea often goes unnoticed as its symptoms occur while the sufferer is asleep. Those who share a bed with a person with sleep apnea often notice their symptoms first. Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- pauses in breathing (apneas) during sleep
- daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- morning headaches
- morning dry mouth
- excessive snoring
- waking abruptly
- waking and gasping for breath
Treating Sleep Apnea in Cary, NC
Treating sleep apnea begins with consulting with your ear, nose, and throat specialist to determine your best treatment options. Your doctor may begin with suggesting lifestyle changes like losing weight or changing your sleeping position. Many patients benefit from a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. The machine blows a steady stream of air through the airway to keep it from collapsing, allowing the patient to sleep soundly through the night. In persistent or severe cases, surgery may be needed.
For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!
Nasal congestion, nasal blockages, facial pain, and pressure—these are all symptoms that arise when sinuses go rogue. Just like the rest of the body, these hollow cavities within the skull can also fall victim to a variety of conditions and problems. The most common sinus problems include:
Acute sinusitis (also known as a sinus infection)
Unfortunately, there are countless people around the world dealing with these problems, and these chronic sinus problems have even been linked to a higher rate of depression. This is why it’s so important to have an otolaryngologist by your side that can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms and improve how your sinuses feel and function.
Millions of Americans deal with acute sinus infections each year. While they can be a nuisance, they usually don’t cause much harm and will often just run their course without treatment. In the meantime, you can ease your symptoms by applying warm facial compresses, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, staying hydrated and using nasal sprays, if necessary. Symptoms of acute sinusitis usually go away within one month.
Unfortunately, there are some people who deal with chronic sinusitis, in which symptoms last more than three months and don’t seem to respond to at-home care. When this happens it’s important that you seek medical care from a qualified ENT doctor who can provide you with more aggressive options for handling the infection.
In the past, the only treatment option for severe or chronic sinus infections was t surgery; however, now ENT doctors offer a minimally invasive treatment known as balloon sinuplasty, which is quick and easy to perform, doesn’t require any incisions or bone removal, and boasts a very fast recovery period. Balloon sinuplasty can be a great alternative to traditional sinus surgery.
A lot of people have a deviated septum but might not even realize it. If it isn’t giving you any problems then it’s not something to worry about; however, if you are dealing with severe or chronic nasal congestion, particularly on one side, this could definitely be alerting you to the fact that you have a deviated septum. Those with a deviated septum are also more likely to develop nosebleeds or recurring sinus infections. Surgery is often required to repair the septum.
Allergies are another common issue that people deal with, particularly during certain times of the year. If you find yourself fighting back sneezing and congestion rather frequently then you could be allergic to pollen, pet dander, or dust mites. Other allergy symptoms include:
Runny or stuffy nose
There are a variety of medications and lifestyle modifications that can keep your allergies in check. It’s important that you seek the care of an ENT specialist, as untreated allergy symptoms can often get worse.
Do you find that certain times of the year it’s difficult to go outdoors without developing watery itchy eyes or sneezing your head off? Does coming in contact with your friends’ pets leave you dealing with red itchy welts on your skin and a runny nose? If you said “yes” to these questions, you could very well be dealing with allergies.
While there isn’t a cure for allergies, there are many ways to treat this issue. If you aren’t finding relief through over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and other allergy medications, it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist for help. It’s important that you don’t just ignore your allergy symptoms, as they can often get worse if left untreated.
First and foremost, it’s important to figure out what is causing your allergy symptoms to flare-up. Everything from pollen, mold dust, dust mites, dander, and mildew could be causing your symptoms. The sooner you and your ENT doctor are able to get to the root of your flare-ups the easier it will be to treat your allergies.
While an otolaryngologist may choose to prescribe medication to help you better manage your symptoms, there are also a variety of lifestyle modifications you can incorporate into your daily routine to reduce flare-ups.
For starters, it’s important to reduce how often you come in contact with the offending allergen. This may require you to close your windows during the day, vacuum the carpets and furniture a few times a week, bathe your trusty pet regularly, use an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom, or place a protective covering over your mattress.
Even though some people may find relief from commercial allergy products, those dealing with persistent or moderate-to-severe allergies may require a more specific and stronger medication. There are a variety of prescription nasal sprays, eye drops, and other antihistamines that can reduce congestion, eye redness and itching, and other allergy complaints. Of course, if these lifestyle changes and medications aren’t enough to get your symptoms under control then your allergy specialist may discuss the pros and cons of getting allergy shots.
Don’t let allergies get the better of you. There are ways to get your allergies under control so they don’t control you. Don’t fight your allergy alone; turn to an ENT specialist for help.