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Posts for category: Sleep Disorders

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 03, 2020
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

You're not sleeping well and wondering if you have sleep apnea. Numerous Americans do--22 million, in fact--but many go untreated and suffer poor rest patterns, depression, difficult interpersonal relationships, and more. At Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester VA, your board-certified neurologists test for sleep apnea and help with treatments proven to improve sleep patterns and overall health.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by extremely loud snoring, sudden awakening, and several episodes of breathing cessation during the night. Men 40 and older seem more prone to this diagnosis as do people who are obese, have large neck circumferences, smoke cigarettes, or drink too much alcohol. Sleep apnea falls into three categories:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, in which the tongue and muscles at the back of the throat collapse and block the airway
  • Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA, in which the respiratory system and the brain do not communicate properly
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea, which combines characteristics of OSA and CSA

All kinds of sleep apnea result in foggy thinking, fatigue, depression, dry mouth, memory issues, irritability, and more. Additionally, sleep apnea contributes to:

  • Diabetes (which develops from insulin resistance, reports Healthline)
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Dementia
  • High cholesterol levels and increased liver enzymes

If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your Winchester VA neurologist right away.

Get diagnosed

At Winchester Neurological Consultants, your board-certified neurologist will review your symptoms and as needed, and perform polysomnography. These monitored studies unravel the complexities of your sleep patterns and pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

Your physician may prescribe a set of individualized therapies to reduce your snoring and your apneic episodes. Strategies include:

  • Losing weight
  • Avoiding alcohol and heavy meals before sleeping
  • Sleeping on your side instead of your back
  • Using CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which opens your airway with a steady stream of air delivered through a facial mask
  • Using oral appliance therapy, customized guards which reposition the bottom jaw and keep the airway open

We want to help

Your neurologists in Winchester VA understand that a good night's sleep is critical to your systemic health and overall well-being. If you or a family member notice your poor sleep pattern and snoring, please contact Winchester Neurological Consultants for a personal consultation on sleep apnea. Don't wait. Phone (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
July 20, 2020
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

At Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, a common complaint in our office is sleep apnea - a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Sleep apnea is dangerous and can incur a blocked airway, contribute to diabetes, hypertension, and other life-threatening medical conditions. If you have suspicions or fears regarding sleep apnea, don't ignore them. Below are some frequently asked questions. If yours isn't answered here, call us today.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Common causes for this condition include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Enlarged Tonsils
  • Soft Tissues of the Throat That Obstruct Air Flow

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Does your partner interrupt your sleep at night? It's likely because you've initially disrupted theirs. Snoring too loud is often the first sign of sleep apnea. Snoring too loud is often the first sign of sleep apnea. Please visit our Winchester, VA, office to find relief from this nighttime nuisance if you experience one or more of the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of focus
  • Decreased libido
  • Morning headaches
  • Tooth grinding (bruxism)
  • Gasping for breath while sleeping

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Different types of sleep apnea range from mild to severe - to determine which kind you have, our doctor will ask questions about your sleeping pattern, fatigue levels during the day, and other indications such as loud snoring, mood changes, and irritability. These various forms require different treatment methods. Common ones include continuous airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, surgery to correct a potentially deviated septum or removal of the soft tissue in the throat, which widens the airway passage. Our doctors will discuss these treatment methods in detail during your visit to our Winchester, VA, office.

If you assume that you're falling victim to sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with our doctor for a proper diagnosis before signs and symptoms worsen. At Winchester Neurological Consultants, we offer telehealth visits via smartphone or computer at your request. For more information about sleep apnea, other conditions we treat, and services provided at our Winchester, VA, office, visit our website. If you have questions, concerns, or need to schedule a virtual or in-person appointment, please call (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 26, 2019
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

How your doctors in Winchester, VA, can help you

Occasional snoring can be a common occurrence, but if you have been told that you snore loudly every night, it could be a sign of something more serious—sleep apnea. Truthfully, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can seriously shorten your life, necessitating prompt treatment from the experts. Fortunately, the doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, offer a wide range of medical services, including several treatment options to manage your sleep apnea.

More about Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is caused by the tissue at the back of your throat relaxing while you sleep. The relaxed tissue blocks your airway, resulting in a lack of oxygen to your vital organs, including your brain. When your vital organs don’t receive enough oxygen, it can increase your risk of having a stroke, experiencing a heart attack, developing Alzheimer’s disease, and acquiring a number of other serious medical problems.

When you have sleep apnea, you will typically experience:

  • Morning headaches
  • Suddenly waking up gasping or choking
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Daytime sleepiness or grogginess

If you think that you may have sleep apnea, you should undergo diagnostic screening and testing from the doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants. They will determine how severe your sleep apnea is, and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include one of the following treatment options:

  • An oral mandibular advancement appliance, which is a custom-made dental appliance you wear as you sleep; the appliance moves your lower jaw forward, maintaining an open airway throughout the night. The oral appliance is easy to wear, easy to maintain, and it is small and highly portable.
  • A continuous positive air pressure device known as a CPAP, which is the most common treatment for sleep apnea; the device contains a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. The mask connects to tubing which is attached to a machine that supplies a continuous flow of air as you sleep. The CPAP is easy to clean and portable.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Sleep apnea is serious, and requires the services of a professional. To learn more about sleep apnea and how your doctors can help, call the doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, today by dialing (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
September 11, 2019
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea   CPAP Therapy  

In the US, sleep disorders are now a public health epidemic. Around 40 million Americans suffering from chronic sleep disorders and around 22 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that causes a person to stop breathing throughout the night. What makes matters worse is that approximately 80 percent of people with moderate to severe OSA are undiagnosed. The goal of our Winchester, VA, neurologists is to diagnose sleep disorders as soon as possible so that we can create a treatment plan that promotes better sleep and improves your health. Know when to turn to us.

Untreated Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night, which restricts blood flow to the brain. Along with experiencing poor sleep, extreme exhaustion throughout the day and difficulty concentrating, untreated sleep apnea can also lead to more serious health problems in the long run including,

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

To prevent these issues from happening it’s crucial to be able to recognize the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea so you know when to seek medical attention. Common signs and symptoms include,

  • Chronic, loud snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air while asleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat, particularly in the morning
  • Extreme and excessive sleepiness
  • Trouble concentrating and memory issues
  • “Brain fog”
  • Irritability
  • Increase in accidents

If you or a loved one is experiencing these sleep apnea symptoms it’s time to schedule an evaluation with one of our neurologists as soon as possible.

Treating Sleep Apnea Effectively

The goals of sleep apnea treatment include,

  • Keeping the airways open and preventing blockages while you sleep 
  • Managing symptoms of sleep apnea to promote restorative sleep
  • Reducing the risk for serious and chronic health problems

The most common OSA treatment is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. Patients with OSA are instructed to wear a facemask while their sleep. The mask is attached to a pump that delivers pressurized air to the passages to prevent obstructions. When fitted properly and used as directed, CPAP therapy can be incredibly effective at treating your symptoms. It can take some time to get used to wearing a facemask while you sleep.

Our Winchester, VA, neurology consultants are happy to provide tips and advice for making the transition to using CPAP easier. When used properly, CPAP treatment can greatly reduce your risk for stroke and other serious cardiac events. Using this treatment night after night can help you get quality, restful sleep on a regular basis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea it’s important that you turn to a board-certified sleep physicians in Winchester, VA, who can help. Call Winchester Neurological Consultants today and let us know how we can help you sleep more soundly.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
September 04, 2019
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Snoring  

Your snoring isn’t just a problem for your partner—it can also be a problem for you. Habitual snoring affects 40 percent of men and 24 percent of women, and oftentimes, this habitual snoring is a warning sign of a common sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea, it’s important that you visit our Winchester, VA, neurologists for an evaluation as soon as you can.

Is my snoring caused by sleep apnea?

While this can be hard to pinpoint on your own, if you either wake up feeling exhausted throughout the day despite getting sufficient sleep or if your partner says that you wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night, then you very well could have sleep apnea. While many people with obstructive sleep apnea snore, not everyone that snores has sleep apnea. If you are a chronic loud snorer who fits the profile above, it’s well worth scheduling a consultation with one of the neurologists here at our office in Winchester, VA.

What happens if sleep apnea is left untreated?

Obstructive sleep apnea is when the tongue or tissue in the back of the throat blocks the airways while you sleep, an effect that greatly reduces how much oxygen gets to the brain. As a result, you will often feel extremely tired even after getting, supposedly, enough sleep. If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can also lead to a whole host of serious and potentially life-threatening health problems including,

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Serious accidents or injuries

This is why it’s so important to seek a proper medical evaluation for your snoring, especially if you suspect that you might be dealing with sleep apnea. After all, the sooner you can treat the problem, the sooner you can reduce your risk of experiencing the above-listed health problems.

How is sleep apnea treated?

The most common treatment option for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, a treatment provides patients with pressurized oxygen and air that is administered through a facemask while the person is asleep. This equipment is used every night to help keep the airways open.

Since sleep apnea isn’t curable, CPAP therapy will need to be used every night in order to get symptoms under control. Fortunately, most people will experience more restful sleep after just a few nights of using CPAP therapy.

Concerned? Give us a call

If you are dealing with snoring and poor sleep in Winchester, VA, it’s important that you see someone who can address the issue and find out what’s going on. Call Winchester Neurological Consultants today at (540) 667-1828 today to schedule a consultation.