ENT Blog

Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
July 23, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea occurs when our breathing becomes interrupted during the night as we try to sleep. These interruptions tend to lead to snoring and when our airway becomes completely blocked our body will force us awake to force a gasp for air so we may resume breathing. We may not always be aware when these occur but we will surely feel it in the morning because these interruptions to our breathing interrupt also our ability to have a full night of sleep. Learn more about sleep apnea by contacting Dr. Christina McAlpin in Los Angeles, CA.

Effects of Sleep Apnea

To understand why it's so important to treat sleep apnea we need to understand the adverse effects that come as a result of the condition.

Cognitive effects are the ones more readily felt, and which may give you the push toward seeking a professional diagnosis. Problems with concentration and memory are very common, so don't dismiss these symptoms if you're experiencing them. Especially with tasks that used to be easy to perform in the past. Changes in mood can also occur.

Missing sleep can also affect your immunity, possibly making you prone to short-term illness as well as to chronic conditions.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

Treating obstructive sleep apnea depends on the severity of your condition. For many, simple sleep habits changes can be enough to give you a good night's rest.

Some may benefit from a sleep guard, a device you wear in your mouth and feels like a traditional mouthguard. It works by keeping your airway from collapsing during the night.

For certain conditions, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine may be recommended instead. It also keeps your airway clear but it does so through pressurized air.

Severe cases of sleep apnea will likely require surgery, although these tend to be rare.

Your ENT doctor can help guide you toward the best treatment and it all begins with a consultation. So schedule a visit today with Dr. McAlpin in Los Angeles, CA, by dialing (213) 745-4060.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
April 05, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Learn all about the treatments that could help sleep apnea sufferers.

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? It’s a sleep disorder that many people don’t even know about and many don’t even know that they have, but it can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Our Los Angeles, CA, ENT doctor, Dr. Christina McAlpin, has helped many patients manage their sleep apnea and get quality sleep night after night. You may be wondering what options are out there for managing your OSA.

Here are some of the tried-and-true sleep apnea treatment options, as well as the latest technology to come onto the market for treating sleep apnea.

CPAP Therapy

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is still considered the standard treatment for OSA. Before a person goes to bed, they will place a mask over their nose and mouth. The mask is attached to a machine that delivers pressurized air through the mask to keep the airways open throughout the night. While this is the standard form of treatment for all severities of OSA, it’s not always the ideal option for everyone. If you have sleep apnea, our Los Angeles, CA, ENT doctor will discuss all viable treatment options with you.

Oral Therapy

Oral appliance therapy or a mandibular repositioning device is a simple dental appliance that fits over upper and lower teeth. This device, which is similar to a nightguard, repositions the jaws slightly forward to keep the airways open while you sleep. This option is a great one for those with mild symptoms but is not ideal for those with more severe OSA.

Inspire

This latest FDA-approved sleep apnea therapy says goodbye to the mask! Instead, a small device is implanted in the body. Three small incisions are made at the jawline and upper and lower chest where a sensor stimulates the nerve to keep airways open while you sleep. This device is turned on right before sleep and can be controlled through a small remote.

First Daytime Sleep Apnea Treatment

Yes, you read that right! As of February 2021, the FDA authorized the use of ExciteOSA, which is the first treatment for those with mild OSA that is used during the day. In just 20 minutes a day, the device is placed into the mouth where it will improve and strengthen the muscles of the tongue to prevent airway obstructions during the night.

If you are dealing with symptoms of sleep apnea here in Los Angeles, CA, the next step is to schedule an appointment with our otolaryngologist Dr. McAlpin. The sooner we catch sleep apnea the better. Call us today at (213) 745-4060 to schedule an evaluation.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
May 07, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Is your snoring so loud that it disrupts your household? Excessive snoring often signals a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. If you are concerned about your snoring, you could benefit from a consultation with otolaryngologist Dr. Christina McAlpin in her Los Angeles, CA, clinic.

Characteristics of sleep apnea

This sleep disorder affects 25 million American adults, finds the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. Plus, the problem is on the rise—most likely due to escalating obesity.

Here's how it happens. As a person with sleep apnea rests, the tissues at the back of the throat—tongue, uvula, and others—relax. Then, they block the passage of air. This causes snoring and repeated episodes of apnea or breathing cessation. Sound dangerous? It is, for the person is deprived of oxygen and constantly wakes up, gasping for air

This most common kind of sleep apnea is called OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. Some individuals have central sleep apnea which involves poor communication between the lungs and nervous system. This is less common than OSA as is mixed sleep apnea, which combines features of OSA and CSA.

Long-term, sleep apnea leads to noticeable problems with daily function, such as fatigue, depression, sleepiness, memory fog, and poor concentration. Systemic health problems develop, too—conditions such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dementia
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

Do you have sleep apnea?

If you suspect you do, contact Dr. Christina McAlpin at her Los Angeles office. She can examine you and review your symptoms to make a diagnosis and treatment plan. She may recommend a monitored sleep study that measures your vital signs and breathing patterns during the night.

Treating sleep apnea

To manage sleep apnea symptoms, some people benefit from interventions such as:

  • Sleeping on one side (this is called positional therapy)
  • Losing weight
  • Avoiding sedatives and alcohol before bedtime because they relax the muscles of the throat
  • Smoking cessation
  • Taking decongestants if you suffer from nasal polyps

More invasive interventions include surgery to remove large tonsils and adenoids or adding stiffeners to the roof of the mouth to support it. People who suffer from seasonal allergies may benefit from decongestants.

In addition, you and your ENT doctor may investigate oral appliance therapy. These customized acrylic appliances keep the jaw in a forward position, and thus, open the airway and keep it patent during the night.

Another popular and effective therapy for persistent sleep apnea is CPAP. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The patient wears a facial mask through which a bedside machine delivers a constant flow of air. The air keeps the back of the throat open, eliminating snoring and other sleep apnea symptoms. Some people benefit from a combination of oral appliance therapy and CPAP.

Time to see an ENT doctor?

Dr. Christina McAlpin will be happy to help you with your sleep apnea symptoms and management. Call her Los Angeles, CA, office today for more information: (213) 745-4060.

By Dr. Christina M McAlpin
February 20, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Exhausted all day and restless all night? You could have sleep apnea?

Does your partner complain that you snore every night? If so, you might have a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition that your Los Angeles otolaryngologist, Dr. Christina McAlpin, can thankfully diagnose and help you treat.

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

Obviously the most classic symptom of sleep apnea is loud, chronic snoring. You may even wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Other symptoms include,

  • Wake up with a dry or sore throat
  • Severe daytime exhaustion and fatigue
  • Mental fog and poor concentration
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Decreased sex drive

Experiencing any of these symptoms? Then it’s probably time to schedule a sleep evaluation with Dr. McAlpin. Even if your snoring isn’t caused by sleep apnea, frequent snoring can also disrupt sleep. Our ENT doctor can help get your snoring under control, too.

What happens if I don’t treat sleep apnea?

Untreated sleep apnea won’t just cause you continual sleep problems or leave you banished to the cough forever, it can also cause some serious long-term health problems. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to these chronic and serious issues:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Depression and anxiety

Along with these major issues, sleep apnea can also lead to problems with work or school performance and increase the likelihood of accidents either on the road or at work.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Our ENT doctor may be able to determine that you have sleep apnea through a simple physical examination performed right in her Los Angeles office; however, sometimes she may need to refer patients to a sleep clinic for further testing. Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. McAlpin can then discuss treatment options.

While there is no cure for sleep apnea, our team can help you manage your symptoms. The most common non-surgical way to treat sleep apnea is with CPAP treatment (continuous positive airway pressure), where a device is worn over the face to deliver pressurized air through the nose and mouth to keep airways open and free from obstructions while you sleep.

Other treatments for sleep apnea include oral appliance therapy, deviated septum repair, and other surgeries to correct abnormalities within the nose and throat that could be causing your symptoms.

Concerned? Give us a call

If you or someone you love is having trouble sleeping due to chronic snoring it’s time to turn to an ENT specialist in Los Angeles that can confirm whether you may have sleep apnea. The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you will finally discover what quality sleep feels like. Call our office today at (213) 745-4060.