October 24, 2021

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2 min read

The benefits of quality sleep, including cell renewal, cannot be overstated as they play a significant role in one’s productivity throughout the day. After getting good rest at night, you usually wake up feeling refreshed and enthusiastic for the new day. Although sleeping is ordinary in human beings, not everyone may enjoy the benefits of the same, especially those with sleeping disorders, including sleep apnea. This condition affects your sleep quality as you wake up multiple times during the night due to obstructed breathing. Symptoms like loud snoring and drowsiness during the daytime may indicate the need to visit Barry Chase DDS for medical intervention.

What is sleep apnea?

It is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated interrupted breathing when sleeping. If you have sleep apnea, you may experience episodes of stopped breathing more than a hundred times during the night. Most people do not realize when this happens but wake up with morning headaches, mood changes, and a dry mouth. Sleep apnea falls under two categories that include:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder of the two. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax, block your airways and partially obstruct breathing during sleep. As a result, you repeatedly stop and start breathing while you sleep. The most noticeable symptom for people with obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. However, you can snore if you do not have obstructive sleep apnea. Consult with your doctor if the snoring is too loud, with periods of silence in between. Patients with this sleep disorder may benefit from various treatment options, including positive airway pressure and sometimes surgical procedures.

  1. Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea does not involve any form of blockage in your airways. Instead, instability in the respiratory control center affects signal transmission between the brain and muscles, affecting breathing. This type of sleep apnea is linked to the function of the central nervous system.

Causes of sleep apnea

The causes for sleep apnea are different depending on the type of disorder. Central sleep apnea is common in patients with medical conditions like stroke and neuromuscular diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which affect the function of the central nervous system. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax and affect normal breathing. Although obstructive sleep apnea can develop in people of all ages, certain factors put you at risk for this disorder. For example:

  • Age. The risk of obstructive sleep apnea increases as you advance in age. However, it levels off when you get to your 60s and 70s.
  • Obesity. Most people with obstructive sleep apnea have excess body weight. Extra fat deposits along your airways can obstruct breathing. Other conditions associated with obesity, like polycystic ovary syndrome, can also cause obstructive sleep apnea.
  • High blood pressure. People with hypertension are at risk for this sleep-disordered than those who have normal blood pressure.
  • Chronic nasal congestion narrows the airways, increasing your chances for obstructed
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3 min read

Millions of people in the United States battle with drug addictions. Addiction is a complex, chronic disorder that alters the normal functioning of the brain and body. Addiction causes you to repeatedly involve yourself with a substance or activity despite the psychological and physical substantial harm it causes. While in pursuit of the temporal pleasure that substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana may offer, areas in your life like your marriage, work, school, and relationships with friends debilitate. Prescribed medications such as opioid painkillers can also cause addiction. Fortunately, your Glendale addiction specialist can help you overcome your addiction and stay drug-free.

How can I tell if I am addicted?

The following practices or behaviors may indicate that you have an addiction and need medical attention from a specialist. They include:

  • Having a strong need or urge for the drug to hinder other thoughts or feelings.
  • A progressive need to increase the drug amount to attain the same effect
  •  The need to use a particular drug every day, several times each day
  • Living above your means to get the drugs.
  • Exceed the recommended span of drug usage.
  • Poor work and school performance while cutting back on social activities like hanging out with friends.
  • Engage in acts like stealing to get the drug.
  • Maintain a constant supply of the drug.
  • Fail in your attempts to discontinue the drug use.

What causes drug addiction?

Since drug addiction is a mental health disorder, different factors may contribute to its development, including environmental and genetic factors. Your family’s beliefs and attitudes play a significant role in initial drug abuse. How fast one can get addicted may be influenced by their inherited genetic traits, accelerating or delaying addiction development. Addiction can be a problem I people of different age groups and economic statuses. Below are the other factors that put you at risk for drug addiction and affect how fast the situation progresses.

Mental health disorder

Mental disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and hyperactivity disorder are associated with negative feelings like loneliness. People with such disorders may resolve to drugs to block feelings of anxiety and sadness. While this may seem like a way of coping, it can worsen the existing condition. People with mental health disorders are prone to drug addiction, as would other individuals.

Family attributes and values

Different family setups have their values, including things they can or can’t do. Children raised in a family where adults smoke or drink alcohol in their midst have a higher chance of drug addiction in the future. Lack of parental supervision or bond with your siblings and other immediate family members also increases drug addiction chances.

Peer pressure

You are likely to develop an addiction if you frequently hang out with your friends or peers who engage in drug abuse. Peer pressure is a common factor, especially among young people, including teenagers, who may be easily influenced. Others may try out using drugs to fit in or seem cool.

Depending on the … Read More...

3 min read

The neck is a significant body part with great flexibility and use. However, due to its position and frequency of work, it is vulnerable to discomforts and injuries leading to work absenteeism, high medical bills, and even disability cases globally. Nevertheless, at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists, a team of well-experienced healthcare providers led by Dr. John Huffman and Dr. Talal Ghazal is committed to helping patients to overcome neck pain in Northern Virginia. The dedicated team uses advanced approaches to diagnose and treat the condition.

Call the office in Virginia or book your consultation via the online tool today to get these relieving services.

Neck pain

The neck consists of vertebrae extending from the skull to the upper torso with shock-absorbent cervical discs cushioning between the bones. The constitution of the ligaments, muscles, and bones in the neck anchor your head and permit motion. Instances of inflammation, injury, or abnormalities trigger neck stiffness or pain.

Causes

The pain or stiffness can occur due to several reasons, as highlighted:

Heart attack

Neck pain can be a sign of a heart attack. However, it manifests in other symptoms like; perspirations, nausea, shortness of breath, arm or jaw pain, and vomiting.

Meningitis

Meningitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the thin tissue covering the spinal cord and the brain. The inflammation triggers a stiff neck with headaches and fever.

Injury

During sports, accidents, whiplash, or falls, the neck muscles or ligaments can be pushed out of their normal range.

Strain and tension of the muscles

It occurs through certain behaviors and activities like; working for long hours at a desk without rest or switching positions, poor sleeping postures, or neck jerks during exercises.

Other causes

  • Fibromyalgia condition that causes pain mostly in the neck region and the entire body.
  • Osteoporosis condition results in the weakening of bones in the neck.
  • Spondylosis condition of degeneration of cervical discs on the neck, narrowing the space between the vertebrae.

Diagnosis

The healthcare professionals will ask about your medical history and help check for numbness, muscle weakness, tenderness, and how far you can move your head backward, forward, and sideways.

The doctors might recommend a CT scan to give an informative cross-sectional view of the internal neck structures. X-rays will show any pinch on the spinal cord or nerve by degenerated discs or bone spurs. An MRI will offer more detailed informational images of soft tissues, bones, and nerves emanating from the spinal cord.

Treatment

The images obtained from the MRI or X-ray depict the structural challenges that do not show symptoms. The diagnosis helps in developing an individualized treatment schedule.

Depending on the outcome of the diagnosis, Dr. John may recommend one of the following therapies;

  1. Acupuncture, which involves the use of needle insertions into specific body parts under pressure.
  2. Avoid sudden movements that constitute circular rolling of shoulders backward and forward, pressing together shoulder blades in a given position for a few seconds repeatedly, and cautiously turning your head from
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2 min read

Birth control methods have made it possible for couples and single women to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Planning for pregnancy is essential as babies come with significant financial expenses. Today, women have multiple options for hormonal and non-hormonal birth control methods, including oral contraceptives, condoms, implants, spermicides, and vaginal rings. Deciding on which way is best for you can be challenging. Consulting with Dr. David Afram may help you make the best decision while paying attention to factors such as cost, possible side effects, and your future pregnancy plans.

What is birth control?

Birth control involves different ways to prevent pregnancy from occurring until one is ready or desires to. Birth control methods fall under two major classes – hormonal and non-hormonal methods. Hormonal birth control methods such as the combined and progestin-only pill work by preventing ovulation. Non-hormonal methods such as using diaphragms prevent the sperms from getting to your uterus. Although hormonal methods can be effective and reliable, some women may opt for non-hormonal birth control methods due to:

  • Personal and religious beliefs.
  • Health problems.
  • Undesirable side effects such as mood swings, weight gain, and irregular bleeding.

Types of non-hormonal birth control methods

Diaphragm

The diaphragm is among the barrier birth control methods that block the semen from getting to the uterus. It is 94% effective, meaning that only 12 out of 100 women using a diaphragm can get pregnant. It is shaped like a saucer and made of silicon. The first placement should be done with your healthcare provider and is best used with spermicide to increase its effectiveness. The diaphragm can be re-used for up to one year, making it cost-effective. On the downside, women who use a diaphragm are at risk of urinary tract infections.

Contraceptive sponge

A sponge is made out of foam which feels like your vaginal tissue. It works just like the diaphragm and cervical cap by preventing semen from getting to your womb. The differentiating factor between a sponge and a diaphragm is that the sponge already contains spermicide and can be bought without a doctor’s recommendation. Using the sponge during your menstrual cycle may irritate you. This birth control method is less effective in women who have had children before. You may discontinue its use whenever you want to get pregnant. A contraceptive sponge does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.

Intrauterine copper device

This is a T-shape plastic device that your doctor places inside your uterus. Its outer covering – copper, destroys the sperm, preventing them from fertilizing the egg. Although less effective than hormonal IUDs, it still prevents pregnancy more than 99% of the time. IUD is one of the most effective birth control methods and can last up to 10 years. Some women may experience cramping and bleeding in between periods after placing the IUD. Your doctor can help remove the device at any point when you decide to get pregnant.

Birth control methods protect against pregnancy but not sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Condoms are the … Read More...

3 min read

Pelvic pain is a condition that limits you from taking part in your daily activities. Therefore, lowering your production because it leads to absenteeism at work. That is why if you are experiencing pelvic pain, you are encouraged to seek medical help as early as possible. Pelvic pain in South Charleston is managed by a team of specialists who diagnose and treat pelvic pain to enable you to resume your duties quickly.

When should you see a doctor for pelvic pain?

Each woman or individual usually experiences pelvic pain differently because some have a dull or constant ache while others experience intermittent and sharp bouts of pain. Generally, pelvic pain also shows up when carrying out certain activities like urination and sexual intercourse. This pain may also be a sign of an existing problem with the organs associated with urination or reproduction. Therefore, the care specialists recommend you to seek care, especially if you begin experiencing pelvic pain accompanied by fever, worsening menstrual cramps, bloating, unusual vaginal bleeding or spotting, burning urination, diarrhea or constipation, or bloody or cloudy urine. It is also essential to note that pelvic pain is not a condition to push through or ignore. The evaluations performed by your specialist help identify the cause and help identify the proper treatment for you to provide relief to your symptoms.

What are the possible causes of pelvic pain?

In most cases, pelvic pain in women may be due to normal menstruation or ovulation. However, it can also be associated with more serious issues like uterine fibroids, ovation cysts, urinary tract infection, endometriosis, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or pelvic inflammatory disease. In other cases, pelvic pain can as well be a sign of ovarian or uterine cancer.

How is pelvic pain evaluated?

What you are expected to do is give a thorough history of your family, gynecological and medical history, together with a detailed description of your present symptoms, including their intensity, duration, and frequency.  Similarly, a pelvic examination is carried out to help detect any abnormalities like scar tissues or fibroids in your uterus. Additionally, you can also undergo urine and laboratory testing performed in the house to identify any signs of infection. Sexually transmitted infections are also screened.

The care provider may also perform an in-office ultrasound to help look for scar tissues, fibroids, or an ovarian cyst that might be the cause of your pain. But if your pain does not alleviate and the above evaluations do not identify the cause, a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure may be performed to possibly remove or look for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when endometrial tissue that lines your uterus develops outside your uterus.

How is pelvic pain treated?

In most cases, the treatment option recommended by your care provider depends on the underlying cause of your pelvic pain. Therefore, if you got an infection, antibiotics are usually administered. In other cases, prescription medications, hormone treatments, or minimally invasive surgery may be the option for people with concerns … Read More...

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