Posts for: January, 2016
Sinus Problems: A Year-round or Seasonal Issue?
Nearly 40 million Americans are currently suffering from sinus problems. If you’re one of them, you know that a sinus infection flare up can be very uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. A number of things can cause sinus problems: colds, allergies, various environmental factors or deformities in the nasal passages.
When you start to feel sinus pressure, the first and most important step to take is to get a proper diagnosis. Many people who seek treatment for sinus problems mistakenly treat the symptoms of allergies when they actually have a more severe infection or an abnormal sinus cavity. Your Hagerstown and Frederick, MD ENT doctors at Central ENT Consultants can help you diagnose if you’re suffering from seasonal allergies or chronic sinusitis.
Seasonal Sinus Problems
During changing seasons, the humidity in the air drops and rises. This leaves the nasal passages dry and the sinuses susceptible to infection. Infection often leads to swelling, which thwarts mucus from draining properly. This backup is what causes sinus pressure and pain.
Allergies are probably the most common trigger of sinus problems. Allergic reactions often cause the kind of swelling mentioned above.
Sinusitis comes with all the same symptoms of seasonal allergies and sinus infections, but lasts for much longer (12 weeks). Most sinusitis even develops as a result of untreated allergies or infection, but is also associated with defects in the nasal passages—like an extra sinus, deviated septum, or narrow sinuses. With a proper diagnosis, treatment can be administered easily and effectively. Most sinus doctors will recommend a combination of treatments ranging from steroids to antibiotics to treat infection, but in the event your sinus problems are the result of abnormal nasal passages, you may want to consider reconstructive surgery to ensure your chronic sinusitis problems won’t reappear.
To learn more about facial surgery and sinusitis treatment in the Hagerstown and Frederick, MD area, call Central ENT Consultants today!
How Can I Find Out if I Have Sleep Apnea? Common symptoms of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the tissue at the back of your throat relaxes and blocks your airway while you sleep. Your breathing might stop and start again several times per night. Instead of getting a nice restful sleep, you wake up just as tired as when you went to bed. The condition can be very serious because your brain and organs aren’t getting the oxygen they need. This can lead to very serious problems including heart failure, stroke and memory difficulties.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Sleepiness during the day
- Waking with a choking or gasping feeling
- Waking with a sore throat
- Having a headache in the morning
- Snoring loudly
Sleep apnea can lead to potentially life-threatening problems later on, so it’s vital you seek help. The specialists at Central ENT Consultants in Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland are the go-to experts in sleep apnea. They will evaluate your risk factors and symptoms, and may recommend an evaluation at a sleep laboratory.
You may be fitted with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine, which fits over your mouth and nose. It provides a continuous flow of air through your nose.
There are some things you can try at home. You should try to avoid sedatives or alcohol before sleep and you can also try sleeping on your side. Sometimes taking a nasal decongestant may help. You should also try to address some of the risk factors for sleep apnea. According to the Mayo Clinic, major risk factors such as:
- Being overweight- makes you four times more likely to have sleep apnea
- Smoking- makes you three times more likely to have sleep apnea
- Family history- makes it more likely you will have sleep apnea
Remember that sleep apnea has the potential to shorten your life, so don’t wait! Come in and visit the experts at Central ENT Consultants in Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland. You owe it to yourself to live a long and healthy life. Call today!