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Posts for category: Health Conditions

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 09, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Heart Disease  

When you suffer from sleep apnea, you are at a higher risk of developing other chronic diseases like heart disease. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants, located in Winchester, VA, are experts in identifying the connection between sleep apnea and heart disease and its prevention.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing intermittently during sleep. The most common cause of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea which results from a narrowed or blocked airway that restricts oxygen from getting into the lungs. Several cases of obstructive sleep apnea may go undiagnosed if your halts in breathing are not witnessed.

Sleep apnea symptoms go beyond just feeling tired or being unable to concentrate during the day. When you continuously deprive your body of the much-needed oxygen, it can cause significant stress on the body.

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Sleep apnea is shown to directly affect a wide range of severe health complications, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and irregular heart rhythm. For example, research shows that patients suffering from sleep apnea are 2-4 times more likely to develop an abnormal heart rhythm, increase heart failure risks by 140%, and increase coronary artery disease risk by 30%.

Sleep Apnea, Heart Disease, and Obesity

Obesity plays a significant role in your risks for sleep apnea and heart disease. Sleep apnea on its own can increase your risk for heart disease, but then add obesity as a factor, and you will see your risk for heart disease increase even more. If you suspect you may suffer from sleep apnea, the physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, will screen you for the disease and offer treatment.

How obesity affects both sleep apnea and heart disease is evident. When you are obese, a more significant amount of fat deposits in the neck narrow or block the upper airway while you sleep.

With heart disease, obesity is linked to several factors that increase your risk, and they include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome

When you have high blood pressure, your heart's left ventricle can become enlarged and weaken, leading to heart failure.

Sleep Deprivation and Heart Disease

With sleep apnea, you are not achieving the sufficient amount of rest that your body needs. When this happens, the lost sleep can negatively impact your heart health. When you receive a good night's rest, your heart rate and blood pressure drop during sleep, becoming more stable and regular. Without sleep, your heart is not experiencing this critical recovery time.

If you snore, experience daytime sleepiness, or suspect sleep apnea, reach out to Winchester Neurological Consultants today for a consultation appointment at their office in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
July 23, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Multiple Sclerosis  

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease affecting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, also known as the central nervous system. The medical professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants located in Winchester, VA, have experience diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease, meaning your immune system attacks healthy tissue, and there is no definitive cause of this disease. When the attack occurs, the myelin sheath, or area surrounding your nerves, becomes damaged, leading to inflammation and pain. Eventually, the myelin sheath disappears from the repeated attacks leading to scars or sclerosis. They can be seen as plaques or lesions on imaging.

Only the nervous system is directly affected by multiple sclerosis, and it includes the:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord
  • Optic (Eye) nerves
  • Brain stem

As more nerves become affected, your body loses the ability to carry out certain functions.

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Your body's central nervous system serves as the primary control center for all your bodily functions. So, when it is damaged, you will start to see symptoms from all parts of the body.

The most common signs of multiple sclerosis include:

  • Generalized muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling of face, body, arms, and legs
  • Electric shock sensation with neck movement, also known as Lhermitte's sign
  • Increased urinary frequency, loss of bladder control, retention of urine
  • Constipation and loss of bowel control
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Impaired ability to walk
  • Depression
  • Pain

As the disease progresses, you may experience more symptoms, and mild symptoms may increase in severity.

The doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, will be able to evaluate you for multiple sclerosis and create an effective treatment plan.

How Can Multiple Sclerosis Be Treated?

There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time, but there are treatment options available to reduce and relieve symptoms while also slowing the progression of the disease.

The current treatment options available include:

  • Medication: Some given by mouth, injection, or infusion. The regimen is dependent upon the drug itself and individual care plan.
  • Symptom Management: Other medications may be added to the regiment that helps reduce symptoms like inflammation and pain during flare-ups.
  • Behavioral Changes: Reducing screen time when vision is affected, increased rest periods when tired, and frequent breaks with activity.
  • Physical Therapy and Assistive Devices: Help improve balance, mobility, and tremor severity.
  • Dietary Changes: May help with bowel and bladder issues.
  • Alternative Therapies: heat and massage for pain, acupuncture, stress management, and exercise.

If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the medical staff at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can help you manage your condition. Please call today for a consultation at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
March 24, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Heart Disease  

Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, helps patients by treating sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea wears on your heart health and if you haven't sought treatment we can help.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where the patient stops breathing during sleep. Constricted airways cause the patient to snore loudly and gasp for air. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but most people with sleep apnea snore loudly and often. This is obviously very stressful for the body to wake up repeatedly throughout a night of sleep, but did you know that sleep apnea can affect your heart health?

Sleep apnea and the heart

When breathing stops the body releases stress hormones, which can lead to heart disease over time. Obesity is a common cause of sleep apnea and plays an important part in heart disease as well. Fat deposits around the upper airways can lead to obstructed breathing, making you more likely to have sleep apnea. Maintaining a healthy weight only helps you have a healthy heart and healthier sleep.

Healthy habits

Healthy habits go a long way in managing sleep apnea. Your Winchester, VA, doctor will recommend limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking. Smoking is notoriously addictive and some people seek treatment for sleep apnea and continue to smoke. This only puts more stress on your heart every single day. Most people can't quit on their own or on their first try, so don't get discouraged!
 

Both sleep apnea and obesity can each independently increase the risk of heart disease. If you aren't treating your sleep apnea you're putting your heart under extra stress each day. If you have sleep apnea come see Winchester Neurological Consultants for treatment. Contact us in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
March 16, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Epilepsy  

Epilepsy doesn’t come in one form. There are many different types of epilepsy with different symptoms and it’s important to know what kind of epilepsy you’re struggling with so that your doctor knows the best way to treat you. Your doctor at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can sit down with you and discuss what symptoms you may be having so that you can best learn about the treatments that you may need, what may trigger you, and what to expect in the future.

Types of Epilepsy

Every type of epilepsy is accompanied by seizures, but the type of seizure is what classifies your specific type of epilepsy. Your doctor in Winchester, VA, can help you identify what types you are having to help diagnose which type of epilepsy is affecting you.

The types of epilepsy are:

  • Generalized Epilepsy- This is classified by generalized motor seizures and generalized non-motor seizures. Generalized motor seizures are characterized by your body moving in ways you can’t control and possibly losing consciousness and jerking around. Generalized non-motor seizures are often called “absence” seizures because you may typically stop moving and stare into space.
  • Focal Epilepsy- Focal epilepsy consists of four different types of seizures; focal aware seizures- you are aware of what is happening, focal impaired awareness seizures- you are confused or unaware of what is happening during your seizure, focal motor seizures- you move around to some extent and possibly twitch or walk around, focal non-motor seizures- you get hit by intense emotions or strange feelings with a racing heart.
  • Generalized and Focal Epilepsy- This is characterized by having both generalized and focal seizures.

Contact Your Doctor Today

If you’re struggling with epilepsy, it’s really important to be sure to have your doctor diagnose you with your specific type of epilepsy. If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, call your doctor at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828 today!

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
February 16, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Dementia  

Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, helps patients diagnosed with dementia. Dementia is a term for the effects on memory and thinking that are caused by either brain damage or diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. The symptoms are progressive and the changes happen gradually, but lead to the patient being unable to be independent.
 

Dementia is most commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease, and the symptoms of memory loss and losing independence can be confusing and upsetting not just for the patient, but for close family, loved ones, and caregivers. If a family member is struggling with dementia you may be wondering if it will affect you in the future. While Alzheimer's is not passed down genetically, a lot of the risk factors for developing dementia can be passed on.
 

According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are two types of genes that influence whether a person develops a disease. Risk genes, which determine the likelihood someone will develop a disease, and deterministic genes, which directly cause disease. There are hereditary Alzheimer's genes in both categories, but in the vast majority of cases, Alzheimer's disease is not inherited.
 

Family history alone cannot determine if a person will develop dementia, but if you have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer's disease it is more likely to affect you as well. Oftentimes certain risk factors like high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes are hereditary. So parents can't pass on the disease directly to their children but can pass on certain genes that increase the risk of developing dementia.
 

There are more rare types of dementia that can be hereditary. Frontotemporal dementia and young-onset, familial Alzheimer’s disease are much rarer than Alzheimer's disease but are more likely to be passed on.
 

You are struggling with dementia or concerned about a loved one, the doctors of Winchester Neurological Consultants are here to help. Contact us in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828.