My Blog

Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 27, 2022
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects that can affect your ability to have a full night of restful sleep, it is not simply snoring, as it's sometimes believed, although it can be a symptom of the condition. Some of the most important information regarding sleep apnea is covered below, but you can learn more about the condition and everything that can be done to treat it by reaching out to your local Winchester, VA, sleep specialists of Winchester Neurological Consultants.

How It Manifests

When you suffer from sleep apnea your sleep is interrupted through the night as your ability to breathe normally is hampered. It begins with snoring, but eventually, your airway becomes completely blocked which causes your body to wake in order to force you to take a breath. This cycle typically repeats a number of times overnight, and though you may not remember every episode it will take a toll on your body and health.

Signs and Symptoms

The usual signs of sleep apnea are often more easily noticed by your sleeping partner as these can include excessive snoring and gasping for breath when you sleep. But if you struggle with sleep apnea its effects will often carry into your day.

You may experience chronic fatigue, headaches, and mood and memory problems. Which can leave you feeling irritable and cause you difficulty paying attention and focusing on everyday tasks.

The effects of sleep apnea can also be long-lasting and can contribute to chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Winchester, VA

It's important to seek care for sleep apnea as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms of the condition. Your doctor can help diagnose if you have sleep apnea or suffer from another sleep disorder and then suggest the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

If you are interested in sleep apnea treatment in Winchester, VA, you can schedule a consultation with Winchester Neurological Consultants by dialing (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 12, 2022
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

How your neurologist in Winchester, VA, can help with sleep apnea

Have you been told you snore? If so, it can be an embarrassing problem. Snoring can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition which has serious consequences and can shorten your life. Your neurologist can help. The neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, provide comprehensive neurological services, including diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea happens when the soft tissue at the back of your throat relaxes during sleep. The relaxed tissue can partially or completely block your airway. When your airway is blocked, not enough oxygen gets to your organs and tissues, including your heart and brain.

The chronic lack of oxygen can lead to:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Sleep apnea has a few obvious signs and symptoms including:

  • Frequent headaches in the morning
  • Suddenly waking up gasping or choking for air
  • Frequent sore throats when you wake up
  • Drowsiness or grogginess during the day
  • Problems with concentration and focus

If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms listed above, the first step is a sleep study, conducted in the Sleep Disorders Clinic at Winchester Neurological Consultants. The neurologists can diagnose sleep apnea and provide the best treatment for you.

Common treatments for sleep apnea include:

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, also known as a CPAP. The machine provides oxygen through tubing connected to a facepiece, which you wear while you sleep. A CPAP provides continuous, steady oxygen flow to you while you sleep.

An Oral Mandibular Advancement Appliance, which is a small dental appliance you wear while you sleep. The appliance keeps your lower jaw forward, so your airway remains open while you sleep.

To read more detailed information about sleep apnea signs, symptoms, and treatment, please click here.

To find out more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of sleep apnea, call the neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA. You can reach them in the office by calling (540) 667-1828, so call now.

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.