My Blog

By Steven M Dawson, MD
March 24, 2020
Category: Sleep Conditions
Tags: sleep apnea  

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that sleep apnea is on the rise in the US. Fortunately, your ENT doctor in Kirkland, WA, can help treat this issue if you suffer from it. Dr. Steven Dawson helps patients struggling with obstructive sleep apnea overcome this disorder, allowing them to rest and enjoy better health. Read on to learn more.

What is sleep apnea?

The National Sleep Foundation states that sleep apnea affects 16 million Americans of all ages and walks of life. While men 40 and over are more prone to this problem, women and children suffer from it, too. Characterized by loud snoring and repeated episodes of breathing cessation, sleep apnea affects interpersonal relationships, daytime function, and overall health.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, is the most common type of sleep apnea in Kirkland and across the country. When someone with OSA sleeps, the soft tissues at the back of the throat, otherwise known as the velum or soft palate, relax so much they actually cover the airway. Breathing stops, the person wakes up, and the disruptive cycle starts again, often occurring multiple times a night.

How does sleep apnea affect health?

Oxygen deprivation from sleep apnea affects the entire body. Untreated, OSA leads to:

  • Daytime fatigue and sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Slow reaction time
  • Irritability and depression
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Digestive issues, such as GERD (acid reflux disease)

What is CPAP?

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP machines send a constant stream of air through a facial mask. Patients use their bedside apparatuses all night, every night so their airways stay open, snoring stops and health improves.

Do I have to use CPAP?

Not everyone benefits from this common sleep apnea treatment. Some people may wear acrylic mouthpieces which places their lower jaws forward, opening the tissues at the back of the throat. Others benefit from simple lifestyle changes such as:

  • Sleeping on one side rather than on the back
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • No eating two hours before bedtime
  • Losing weight
  • Smoking cessation

Learn more

Correct diagnosis, education, and treatment help manage sleep apnea. Learn more by consulting with your otolaryngologist in Kirkland, WA, Dr. Steven Dawson. Please call his office team to book your appointment: (425) 899-3838.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
January 27, 2020
Category: Sleep Conditions
Tags: sleep apnea  

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million adults in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea. This serious condition could significantly affect all aspects of your life. Worse, studies have also linked it to stroke, heart attack, and even death. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, Dr. Steven Dawson can give you a proper diagnosis and explain your sleep apnea treatment options here in our Kirkland, WA, office.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea symptoms greatly reduce your quality of life. The most common symptom of sleep apnea is frequent loud snoring during sleep. This snoring is also accompanied by pauses in breathing, regular bathroom trips, restlessness, and waking up gasping or choking. Individuals who suffer from this condition also typically wake up with a sore throat and a headache. Likewise, since your sleep quality is constantly compromised, you might feel fatigued and find it hard to concentrate on tasks throughout the day.

Left undiagnosed and untreated, sleep apnea can also lead to memory loss, irritability, decreased libido, and depression. Additionally, you also increase your risk of developing chronic health problems such as heart disease.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea

There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for sleep apnea. When you come in for a proper diagnosis and treatment, our ENT specialist here in our Kirkland, WA, office will base your sleep apnea treatment options on the severity of your condition. If you experience mild symptoms, your treatment options may include oral medications and preventive techniques such as sleeping on your side and not consuming sedatives or alcohol before sleeping.

If your symptoms are moderate, you may benefit from oral appliance therapy. This involves wearing a customized mouthpiece that will reposition your jaw into the correct position when sleeping to reduce snoring. If you suffer from moderate to severe symptoms, you might require CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure, therapy. This treatment option involves wearing a mask to open up your airways with positive airway pressure when sleeping.

Some individuals also treat their sleep apnea symptoms with a combination of the two or more treatment options mentioned above. If all else fails, or if you have enlarged adenoids, extra-large tonsils, or excess tissue that blocks your airway, you may be an ideal candidate for surgery.

Sick and tired—literally—of sleep apnea? The sooner you can obtain proper treatment, the sooner your symptoms will ease. To determine if you’re among the millions of people who suffer from sleep apnea daily, book your appointment with our ENT specialist, Dr. Steven Dawson, today. Call our Kirkland, WA, office at (425) 899-3838 to get rid of your sleep apnea for good.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
November 13, 2019
Category: ENT
Tags: Sinus Surgery  

How your ENT specialist in Kirkland, WA, can help with sinus issues

Sinus problems can make you miserable, and over-the-counter products don’t always help relieve symptoms. In many cases, chronic sinus Sinus Painheadaches, sinus pressure, and pain can linger for weeks, and even months. If you have sinus pain, sinus surgery may be just what you need to provide permanent relief. Here at our office in Kirkland, WA, Dr. Steven M. Dawson offers a wide range of ENT services, including sinus surgery to help you feel better.


How we can help your sinus issues

Sinus problems are more common than you may think. In fact, 37 million Americans suffer from sinus inflammation, according to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Sinus surgery can help with this condition, as well as a number of other related issues. For instance, your ENT specialist may recommend sinus surgery for:

  • Removal of nasal or sinus polyps
  • Repair of structural nasal or sinus abnormalities
  • Sinus problems resulting from fungal causes
  • A sinus infection that has infected the bone
  • Cancer in your sinuses
  • Chronic sinusitis that doesn’t resolve with conventional treatment

If sinus surgery is a good option for you, your ENT specialist may recommend:

  • Balloon sinuplasty, which is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. A thin catheter containing a balloon on the end is inserted into your nostril. When a blocked area in your sinuses is reached, the balloon is inflated, which gently opens up the blocked area, freeing up your breathing. The balloon is then deflated and the catheter is taken out.
  • Endoscopic surgery, which uses a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope. The endoscope is guided up through your nostrils and into your sinuses, allowing your doctor to check for any abnormalities. The endoscope also allows your doctor to clean and enlarge your sinuses, making breathing easier.
  • Open sinus surgery, which is used for severe sinus problems, including sinus cancer. During surgery, the infected and diseased tissue can be removed and the walls of the sinus can be rebuilt.


Seeking treatment? Give us a call

To learn more about sinus surgery and our other ear, nose, and throat services, call Dr. Steven M. Dawson your ENT specialist in Kirkland, WA, today by dialing (425) 899-3838

By Steven M Dawson, MD
August 28, 2019
Category: ENT
Tags: sleep apnea  

Find out if your restless sleep and daytime fatigue are caused by sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that unfortunately goes unnoticed. This condition causes a person to stop breathing throughout sleep-apneathe night. Untreated sleep apnea is serious, as it can increase your risk for heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke, so if you are experiencing the telltale symptoms of sleep apnea it’s time to see our Kirkland, WA, otolaryngologist Dr. Steven Dawson for further evaluation,


You’re a Loud Snorer

Does your partner complain about your thunderous snoring? Is this a common occurrence? While snoring doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea most people with sleep apnea are loud and chronic snorers. Even if your snoring isn’t caused by sleep apnea it can still affect the quality of your sleep, so it’s important to see our Kirkland, WA, ENT doctor if you deal with this nighttime problem.


You Wake Up Short of Breath

Some people with sleep apnea find themselves tossing and turning throughout the night or just feel like they experience fitful sleep. Others actually wake up suddenly in the middle of the night gasping for air. If you find yourself having trouble catching your breath when you awake in the middle of the night then you could have sleep apnea.


You Experience a Sore Throat

Since the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airways while you sleep you may find that you wake up in the morning with a sore throat or dry mouth. While there are other things such as allergies or an infection that can also cause a sore throat, if you are experiencing these symptoms regularly in the morning then sleep apnea could be to blame.


You Have Trouble Staying Awake During the Day

Do you find that no matter how much sleep you get you still wake up exhausted? Do you have to drag yourself out of bed or hit the alarm a dozen times? Do you feel like you never truly wake up during the day or feel like you could go right back to sleep at any moment? People with sleep apnea very often deal with intense and chronic daytime fatigue that can make it difficult to get through the day.


You’re Irritable or Having Trouble Concentrating

If you aren’t sleeping properly it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your emotions and mental state will also be affected. You may find yourself more temperamental and moody. You may also have trouble with memory and concentration. If this has become the norm then you may be dealing with sleep problems.

Don’t let another night of bad sleep affect you. Call our Kirkland, WA, ENT practice today and let us know that you’re interested in getting evaluated for sleep apnea. Master your sleep; we can help.

By Steven M Dawson, MD
June 05, 2019
Category: ENT
Tags: sleep apnea  

Do you snore? Did you know that persistently loud snoring may signal a serious health condition called sleep apnea? Dr. Steven Dawson, sleep-apneaboard-certified otolaryngologist in Kirkland, diagnoses and treats this sleep disorder, helping patients rest and have better overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions about sleep apnea in Kirkland

Just what is sleep apnea? When a patient often stops breathing when asleep at night, or during a day time nap, he or she may have a medical condition known as sleep apnea. The National Sleep Foundation has studied this sleep disorder extensively and concludes that episodes of breathing cessation and snoring rob the brain of oxygen and proper rest.

How does sleep apnea affect my overall health? Individuals with sleep apnea snore loudly and startle awake, struggling for air. This may occur numerous times a night. While the snoring is very noticeable and annoying, the health effects from sleep apnea must be taken seriously. They include:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Fatigue

I understand there are different kinds of sleep apnea. What are they? Sleep apnea falls into three categories--Obstructive, or OSA, in which the tissues at the back of the throat collapse and cover the airway, Central, or CSA, which is a deficit in how the brain communicates with the respiratory system, and Mixed, a blend of OSA and CSA. An in-office or at-home sleep study can help Dr. Dawson pinpoint which kind you may have.

Who gets sleep apnea? People of all ages and walks of life can develop sleep apnea--even children can. The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute (NHBLI) says that the incidence does increase with age, weight (obesity), neck circumference, and gender (more men than women develop sleep apnea). Alcohol and smoking contribute to this sleep disorder, too.

If I have sleep apnea, what's the treatment? Much depends on the kind of sleep apnea you have and the severity. Many people respond well to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines and/or oral appliance therapy, both of which keep the airway open. Some people simply need to sleep on their sides, while others improve if they lose weight. Finally, Dr. Dawson sometimes advises surgical intervention when a deviated septum or enlarged adenoids or tonsils block the free passage of air.

Will you ever sleep well again?

Trust the skill and expertise of the best ear, nose and throat specialist in the Kirkland, WA, area: Dr. Steven Dawson. Be frank about your symptoms, and he'll use the right diagnostic tools to understand your sleep problems well. Please contact the office team for your individualized consultation at (425) 899-3838.

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