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Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
May 31, 2022
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea.

We all know that sleep is critical for health and well-being, but if you wake up exhausted and find yourself having trouble staying away throughout the day, you could be dealing with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can’t be cured, but our Winchester, VA, neurologists can diagnose and help you manage your symptoms to improve sleep quality and your health.

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

If you are dealing with sleep issues, many sleep disorders could be to blame. Here are some signs that you might be dealing with sleep apnea,

  • Your partner comments that you stop breathing for several seconds throughout the night
  • You wake up gasping for air
  • You are a chronic snorer, or you snore most nights loudly
  • You deal with frequent morning headaches
  • You experience brain fog and trouble concentrating
  • You wake up exhausted despite getting a full night’s rest
  • You find yourself more irritable and prone to mood swings
  • You find yourself falling asleep at your desk or behind the wheel of your car

If you said “yes” to some of these statements above, you could likely be dealing with sleep apnea. The problem is that many people don’t even realize they have it. Still, it’s important that you schedule an evaluation with our Winchester, VA, neurologists so that we can perform the appropriate sleep tests to diagnose you.

What happens if I don’t treat sleep apnea?

Ignoring or leaving sleep apnea untreated is detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Not only does it impact your sleep quality, but also it can negatively affect your work performance and relationships. It can also leave you prone to injuries and accidents. Worse yet, untreated sleep apnea can also increase your risk for,

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • High blood pressure

Why should I turn to a neurologist?

A neurologist specializes in treating conditions affecting central and peripheral nervous systems. While a sleep specialist can treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) since this is a breathing disorder, if you are dealing with central sleep apnea, you’ll want a neurologist who knows how to treat this central nervous system condition.

In fact, our Winchester, VA, neurologists treat sleep apnea and other types of sleep problems, including insomnia and narcolepsy. We’ll be able to detect whether your sleep apnea could be neurological and provide you with a treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms.

Do you suspect that you might have sleep apnea? If so, our Winchester, VA, team can perform a sleep study to determine your sleep problems. To get started, call Winchester Neurological Consultants at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 16, 2021
Category: Mental health
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Dementia  

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you are at high risk of developing dementia. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants, located in Winchester, VA, treat sleep apnea to decrease your risk for developing mental conditions such as dementia.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a failure to breathe during sleep and can be either obstructive or non-obstructive. With obstructive sleep apnea, your breathing fails because an open airway was unable to open up despite the brain telling it to. However, with central sleep apnea, the brain fails to send that signal causing your breathing muscles to slow.

Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

The body requires sleep for it to repair and restore itself actively. If you experience sleep apnea, you lack oxygen during sleep, which interferes with cognitive functions like memory formation, blood pressure regulation, and weight control. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants, of Winchester, VA, know these risks and would be able to evaluate you for both sleep apnea and dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a syndrome that causes a progressive decline in one's ability to think, remember, hold conversations, perform certain activities of daily living, and live independently. Alzheimer's disease causes most cases of dementia.

Why Does Sleep Apnea Place You at Greater Risk for Dementia?

Studies show that sleep apnea is tied to alterations of brain structure that are seen in early dementia. For example, the reduction of oxygen discussed above may be linked to the thinning of your brain's temporal regions associated with memory decline.

Obstructive sleep apnea already increases your risk of developing other chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. In addition, since dementia and obstructive sleep apnea worsen with age, you see the most significant link between the two conditions in the elderly.

How Can I Prevent Developing Dementia?

Most often, your risk of dementia increases when modifiable risk factors are present such as:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Depression
  • Hypertension

You can treat obstructive sleep apnea with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device that continuously blows air via a face mask to keep your airway open. By treating sleep apnea, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing dementia. However, early intervention is key to its prevention because there is no cure for dementia.

Suppose you were suffering from sleep apnea and are worried about your risk of developing dementia. In that case, it is time to call Winchester Neurological Consultants at their office located in Winchester, VA, to make a consultation appointment at (540) 667-1828.

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 22, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

The sleep disorder known as sleep apnea is a severe condition that should be addressed by a medical professional. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, are sleep apnea experts and can evaluate you today.

What is Sleep Apnea?

People will sleep apnea will stop repeatedly breathing during sleep, leading to a decreased flow of oxygen to your brain and body.

There are two kinds of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Most common and is caused by an airway blockage like the soft tissue in the back of the throat that may collapse during sleep.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: This is caused by the brain failing to transmit signals to your muscles to breathe.

What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is one sign of sleep apnea, but it is not found in all patients and doesn't always mean people who snore suffer from the disorder. When you sleep, you might pause your breathing at different times or take very shallow breaths. If you sleep alone, you may never know that this occurs. However, if you have frequent fatigue and tiredness throughout the day, it may be caused by sleep apnea.

Other possible signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up to sore or dry throat and mouth
  • Waking up in the night with a sudden choking or gasping sensation
  • Insomnia and restless sleep
  • Lack of energy during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Mood swings and forgetfulness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Dizziness when awaking from sleep

If you experience some or all of these symptoms, the medical professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can evaluate you for sleep apnea.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apneas affect people of all ages. Certain risk factors should be considered when determining if you are at high risks, such as:

  • Over the age of 40
  • Overweight or obese
  • Male
  • Large neck
  • Deviated septum or other nasal obstruction
  • Allergies or sinus issues
  • Large tongue, tonsils, or a small jaw bone

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Me?

A severe sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, can cause significant issues if left untreated. You will be at higher risk of severe diseases such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Failure
  • Depression

Furthermore, your personal and professional life may be affected if you are too tired to perform your daily activities.

If you are at risk or experiencing possible sleep apnea symptoms, please don't wait and call Winchester Neurological Consultants located in Winchester, VA, today at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
June 03, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

How your doctors in Winchester, VA, can help if you have sleep apnea

Have you been told you snore? Do you wake up feeling as if you haven’t slept? If so, you could have sleep apnea, which can have devastating consequences to your health. The good news is, your doctor can treat sleep apnea, so you can sleep soundly again.

The doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, offer a wide range of medical and neurological services, including treatment for sleep apnea.

So, what exactly is sleep apnea?

It’s a condition during which the tissue at the back of your throat relaxes while you sleep. This tissue can partially or completely block your airway, causing loss of oxygen to your vital organs including your heart and brain.

If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can lead to you having:

  • A stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory problems

So, how can you tell if you might have sleep apnea? Watch out for these common signs and symptoms:

  • Frequent loud snoring
  • Having a sore throat in the morning
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Suddenly waking up gasping or choking
  • Feeling groggy or sleepy during the day

If you think you might have sleep apnea, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor, who might recommend a sleep study to determine if you do have sleep apnea.

After a diagnosis is made, your doctor will recommend one of these effective treatments:

  • Wearing a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) device while you sleep. The CPAP consists of a mask that fits over your mouth and nose. This is connected to a machine that delivers oxygen to you throughout the night.
  • Wearing an oral appliance, which holds your lower jaw forward while you sleep. This device keeps your airway open, allowing a free flow of oxygen throughout the night.

To find out more about the causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment of sleep apnea, call the doctors of Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828. Call now, and sleep better soon!