Last updated 3 days ago
Sleep apnea is a common health problem that faces countless people all over the world. Interestingly, doctors have recently discovered a link between sleep apnea and spinal cord injuries. Understanding how this connection works may lead to better methods of treatment and prevention of sleep apnea.
Cervical vs. Thoracic Spine Injury
Whether or not sleep apnea results from a spinal cord injury may have to do with where your spine was hurt. People who have thoracic or lumbar spinal injuries tend not to have associated breathing problems during sleep. This means that if your spinal injury occurred on your middle to low back, any sleep problems you might have are likely unassociated. This is not true if your spinal injury occurred in the cervical region of your spine. People who have injuries to their upper spine and neck area might very well have associated sleep apnea.
Spine Health, Sleep Apnea, and Lifestyle
Sometimes spinal cord injuries can affect your lifestyle. If you adopt a sedentary lifestyle in response to chronic pain or inhibited movement caused by a spinal cord injury, you may trigger other health problems that can lead to sleep apnea. This includes issues like obesity and poor muscle tone surrounding the lungs, both of which are commonly seen in patients who have sleep apnea.
Because spinal cord injuries can lead to loss of muscle tone surrounding the lungs, patients are at greater risk for pneumonia and other respiratory problems. Fluid in the lungs diminishes breathing ability and can lead to impaired breathing during sleep. One way that doctors try to mitigate lung problems in spinal cord patients is by encouraging proper posture through education and physical therapy.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury and feel that you may have associated sleep apnea, and you live in the Los Angeles area, the knowledgeable staff at DelRey ENT can help. Contact us via our website or by calling (310) 439-9878. Our staff can arrange a polysomnograph, or sleep study, to rule out sleep apnea as well as coordinate care for your spinal injury.
Last updated 11 days ago
If your ears are commonly exposed to cold wind and wet environments, you may be at risk for surfer’s ear. Over time, exposure to cold stimulates bone growth in the ear canal that narrows it, eventually blocking the ear drum. It can lead to painful ear infections and even hearing loss. You can prevent surfer’s ear by wearing ear plugs, hooded wet suits, surfer’s muffs, or anything that protects your ears from cold wind and water. Treatment usually involves surgery by an ear doctor to remove the excess bone.
If you live in the Los Angeles area and are in need of a professional to treat your surfer’s ear, Dr. Sigari at DelRey ENT has an effective treatment that is less invasive and has a faster recovery time than some other treatments. You can schedule a consultation with this expert ear doctor by calling (310) 439-9878. Other clinic specialties include sinus therapy and sleep apnea treatment. You can learn more by visiting our website.
Last updated 16 days ago
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder in which a patient stops and starts breathing during sleep in a repetitive cycle. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax during sleep, causing a narrowing of the airways. When the concentration of oxygen in the blood drops, the individual briefly wakes up to restart breathing. Ear, nose, and throat doctors have noted that obesity is a major risk factor of obstructive sleep apnea.
Now, a new study has examined the link between obesity and sleep apnea in children and adolescents. Watch this video to hear about this study, which examined children between the ages of two and 18. You’ll learn a possible reason why the older children who were obese were more likely to have sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires treatment from an ear, nose, and throat doctor. Los Angeles residents who believe they may have sleep apnea symptoms are encouraged to call DelRey ENT Associates at (888) 744-5032 to learn about sleep apnea treatment options.
Last updated 16 days ago
Hearing loss often occurs over time; however, sometimes a medical condition will cause sudden hearing loss. If you notice that you often have to ask others to repeat themselves, turn up the volume on the TV or radio, or experience a ringing in your ears, it’s time to talk to an ear doctor. An ear doctor will determine the type and degree of hearing loss you have, explore the potential causes, and discuss your treatment options with you.
Genetic and Nongenetic Factors
Congenital hearing loss, which refers to hearing impairment that is present at the time of birth, is often hereditary. Hearing loss may also be the symptom of a genetic condition, such as Down syndrome, Usher syndrome, and Alport syndrome. Nongenetic factors that cause congenital hearing loss may include premature birth, low birth weight, and birth injuries, which may arise from a difficult or prolonged labor. Sometimes, hearing loss is the result of prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol, or it may be caused by maternal diabetes.
Ear doctors often see patients with hearing impairment from exposure to loud noises. The cochlea, or the inner ear, is a fluid-filled area that contains tiny hair cells. These hair cells are necessary for sending electrical impulses to the brain so that sound waves may be interpreted. If a noise is loud enough or exposure to the sound is prolonged, the hair cells become damaged. This damage is irreversible and it leads to hearing loss.
Medications that can damage the ear causing ringing in the ears or hearing loss are called ototoxic medications. These include certain antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, loop diuretics, and salicylate pain relievers.
The ear doctors of DelRey ENT Associates are pleased to offer the BAHA system for patients with conductive and mixed hearing loss. For more information, call our location in Los Angeles at (888) 744-5032. Our ear, nose, and throat doctors also specialize in treating sleep apnea, sinusitis, and allergies.
Last updated 22 days ago
Although obstructive sleep apnea is often thought of as a condition that primarily affects adults, children can indeed be diagnosed with it. A tonsillectomy—or a surgery to remove the tonsils—is often used as a treatment for children who display sleep apnea symptoms. However, the results of a recent study of 70 children younger than the age of three showed that a tonsillectomy isn’t necessarily a cure for sleep apnea.
According to MedPage Today, 21 percent of the children who participated in the study still demonstrated moderate to severe sleep apnea following a tonsillectomy. They scored a five or greater on the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), a measure of the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. However, 49 percent of the children were considered to have only mild symptoms after the surgery. It is not yet known which factors may contribute to the success of the procedure or the need for additional sleep apnea treatments.
If you or your child suffers from sleep apnea, let the trusted experts at DelRey ENT Associates of Los Angeles help. Contact us at (888) 744-5032 to schedule a visit with an ear, nose, and throat specialist today.