What are the sinuses?
The sinuses are air-filled spaces within the skull. There are four groups of sinus: maxillary sinuses, a paired group located below the eyes and lateral to the nasal cavity; the ethmoid sinuses, typically numbering about 10-15 and arranged in a honeycomb pattern between the eyes; frontal sinus, a large single or divided cavity above the eyebrows; sphenoid sinus, a single or divided space located behind the nose, nearly in the center of the skull.
Treatment of Sinus Infections
The first line of treatment for sinus infections is a combination of antibiotics and other medical measures. There are many antibiotics available which are active against different types of bacteria. In addition to antibiotics, oral decongestants (like pseudoephridine) are useful. Nasal decongestants like oxymetazoline may be effective for a short time, but should not be used for more than several days. If there is a history of allergies, antihistamines may be useful. In addition to these medicines, it is often helpful to irrigate the nasal cavity with a saline solution. This helps to keep the nasal mucosa moist and cleans the nasal cavity.What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Sleep apnea refers to any disorder in which there are breaks or pauses in our breathing during sleep. In many cases these breaks are caused by a portion of the nose or throat actually blocking our airway during sleep. In this case, the disorder is called obstructive sleep apnea. Why should we be concerned about obstructive sleep apnea? If the obstructive sleep apnea is severe, it can actually cause the level of oxygen in our bloodstream to drop to dangerously low levels. This can in turn lead to heart problems and other health disorders. Pressure changes in the throat can also be associated with irregularities in the heart beat. Less severe obstructive sleep apnea can interfere with our sleep, causing symptoms such as daytime sleepiness.How does snoring differ from sleep apnea?
Snoring occurs when some part of the throat flutters when we inhale or exhale during sleep. Most people who have obstructive sleep apnea also snore, but not everybody who snores has sleep apnea. Other than the loud noise, which may disturb bed partners, snoring is not believed to cause any health problems.How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed?
Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed by a combination of the clinical history, the physical exam, and one or more diagnostic tests. The most common test is called a sleep study. This test involves close monitoring of a wide variety of important vital signs during sleep, and it is most often done at a special sleep study center.