Posts for category: Sleep
Like aging and expansions to the Law and Order and CSI franchises, snoring is inevitable. If you are breathing and sleeping, chances are you will let out the occasional snore from time to time. Much as many of us might hate to admit it, snoring once in a while is perfectly normal and we all do it.
However, when snoring becomes chronic and is accompanied by visible pauses and breaks in breathing patterns throughout the night, it can signal a potentially serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. From the office ofSpartanburg & Greer ENT in Greer and Spartanburg, SC, here is some information on this condition.
What is Sleep Apnea?
A potentially dangerous sleep disorder that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat relax during sleep, and breathing is interrupted and paused throughout the night. Chronic snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea, although many people are often unaware that they are having breathing problems in their sleep.
Some of the waking symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- feeling sleepy and exhausted throughout the day even after a full night's sleep
- mouth breathing
- dry mouth
- dry/sore throat
- mood swings
The ear, nose and throat doctors at Spartanburg & Greer ENT offer treatment for excessive snoring and sleep apnea, which is divided into three categories:
Obstructive - the most common form of the condition, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles that control breathing in the throat become relaxed during sleep and block the flow of oxygen in the airway throughout the night.
Central - a rarer form of the condition, central sleep apnea is the result of a failure of the brain to send a signal to the muscles that control breathing, resulting in a complete pause in breathing during sleep.
Complex - complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea in one person.
Treatment for Sleep Disorders in Greer and Spartanburg
If you are suffering from chronic snoring and exhibiting symptoms of sleep apnea, contact Spartanburg & Greer ENT at 864-582-2900 to schedule an appointment today.
[adapted from WASM World Sleep Day]
Feeling less alert today? Reaching for that extra cup of coffee to stay awake? Your health and sleep habits may be contributing to a lack of good quality sleep, which can lead to other health issues.
On Friday, March 14, 2014, World Sleep Day will be celebrated all over the globe. This annual event is a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep.
This year, the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) is emphasizing the preventable risk factors that lead to obstructive sleep apnea with the slogan “Restful Sleep, Easy Breathing, Healthy Body.”
How do you know if you’re getting restful sleep? Good, restorative sleep is continuous and uninterrupted, deep, and of adequate length. If
you achieve all of these, you should feel rested and alert throughout the day.
If you’re missing one or more element, your concentration, productivity, attention and alertness will suffer. Daytime sleepiness can also be dangerous, leading to motor vehicle accidents.
People with obstructive sleep apnea or other sleep disorder symptoms may not realize how many times they’re waking up during the night, but if your airway isn’t open enough, you’re not getting good sleep.
One of the most significant risk factors for sleep apnea is being overweight or obese. Extra accumulations of fat in the upper airway can reduce the throat opening, while a large abdomen can interfere with the pumping action of the diaphragm. Recent studies have shown that losing weight alone can eliminate sleep apnea in some overweight people.
Other risk factors for sleep apnea include smoking, which can damage the throat, and large tonsils, particularly in children. Quitting smoking or getting large tonsils surgically removed can cure sleep apnea and prevent the complications of daytime sleepiness.
Not only can getting healthy lead to better sleep — the same principle works in reverse. Better sleep leads to better health.
Being alert and rested can make you feel more motivated to get regular exercise and eat healthfully, while lack of sleep can leave you feeling lethargic and too tired to move. What’s more, studies have shown that lack of sleep for just a few days disrupts hormone and metabolism levels, resulting in increased appetite and calorie intake.
Make better sleep your primary resolution for 2014!
The physicians at Spartanburg & Greer ENT want you to understand why this could perhaps be the most important goal you set this year and have some tips to offer about how people who choose to prioritize sleep can achieve their goals.
Many people will choose to exercise more, eat healthier, and get away from bad habits as part of their New Year’s Resolutions; while these goals should certainly be commended, one of the best ways to improve health is also one of the most overlooked.
In a world full of tablets, light pollution, and rampant sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, getting a full eight hours of sleep per night has never seemed more unattainable. But given the important role that sleep plays in overall health, there is no better time to prioritize sleep than now. Just a little extra sleep per night can make all the difference in the world to how an individual feels during the day.
The physicians of Spartanburg & Greer ENT regularly help sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) control their condition; they see firsthand the positive impact that an undisturbed night of sleep can have on a person’s overall health. Here are some of their tips to reach your goal of better sleep:
- Get Sleep Apnea Treated... A patient cannot hope to experience a proper night’s sleep if an underlying medical issue like sleep apnea goes uncorrected. By calculating your SnoreScoreTM, you can determine if you are at risk for the condition, and a sleep study can confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the severity of your condition, your physician may recommend treatment options, such as lifestyle changes, an oral appliance, a CPAP machine, or a surgical procedure.
- Lose Excess Weight... In addition to other health benefits, weight loss also improves sleep and significantly reduces daytime sleepiness. Conditions that disrupt your sleep, such as esophageal reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea, may be cured in some cases by a return to a healthy weight. If you don't already have a weight-loss program, talk to your doctor about the best course of action for weight loss. You might even want to try our Health Empowerment Program.
- Stop Smoking and Drinking... Although these can stand as resolutions all on their own, the role they play in sleep should not be underestimated. Both of these habits can make it hard for a person to secure a decent night of sleep... smoking causes mouth dryness, and alcohol consumption tends to make the quality of sleep less than restful, natural and restorative. Quit smoking now, and when it comes to alcohol consumption, save the after-work drink (notice we said drink, not drinks) for right after work instead of late at night.
- Screen The Screens... Many American households are bursting at the seams with multiple televisions, computers, tablets, smartphones, and video game systems. Interaction with these screens can create distractions and stress that disrupt the onset of natural sleep cycles. Set some ground rules with your family for device usage... maybe turn videogames, phones, and tablets off two hours prior to bed, shut down the television and the computer an hour before, and don’t interact with these until you awake in the morning.
- Don’t Go Wild On The Weekends... The human body cannot adjust to a sleep schedule if an individual stays out until the wee hours of the morning or tries to recuperate his missed sleep by sleeping in on the weekend. Try to go to bed and wake up on Saturday and Sunday at the same time you would throughout the rest of the week. Generally speaking, remember that for every two hours your brain is awake, it requires one hour of restful sleep to be fully restored to optimal levels of function, health and well-being the next day.