What’s the Connection Between Sinusitis and Sleep Apnea?


What’s the Connection Between Sinusitis and Sleep Apnea?

What’s the Connection Between Sinusitis and Sleep Apnea?

Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 at 6:30 pm    

Sleep apnea and sinusitis both disrupt your sleep. While sleep apnea blocks the throat, sinusitis blocks the nasal passages. Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing stops and starts, and sinusitis is a condition that causes the tissue lining the sinuses to become inflamed and swollen.

Sleep apnea symptoms may include loud snoring, cessation of breathing, waking up gasping for air, daytime fatigue, morning headache, mood swings, depression, and decreased sex drive, to name a few. Common sinusitis symptoms include a persistent cough, which is typically worse at night, headache, nasal congestion, jaw ache, fatigue, ear pressure, and more.

Both sleep apnea and sinusitis can lead to snoring, and they involve some of the same anatomies. When you’re asleep, your natural reflex is to breathe through your nose. However, the sinus inflammation and swelling associated with sinusitis will force you to instead breathe through your mouth. The soft tissue in the back of your throat that hangs down (called the uvula) and the soft palate relax when you’re sleeping. When the tissue blocks your airway, negative pressure may be created behind the soft palate, causing the soft tissue to vibrate and make you snore.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate and uvula, the tonsils, the sides of the throat and tongue. When these muscles relax, the airway closes as you breathe in. You can’t get enough air, lowering the oxygen level in your blood. The brain senses that you’re unable to breathe well and makes you wake up. With sleep apnea, this pattern can repeat many times throughout the night, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.

While there are similarities between sinusitis and sleep apnea, the connection between the two sleep conditions is not clear, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. For five years, researchers followed 971 patients who had sleep apnea and 4,855 who did not. The researchers found that less than 7% of those with sleep apnea were later diagnosed with sinusitis. Of those without sleep apnea, only 2% also developed sinusitis. Therefore, the study found there was not a significant correlation between the two. A sleep apnea diagnosis does not mean that you will develop sinusitis and vice versa. However, there is a small increase in the risk a patient with sleep apnea will also have sinusitis.

Because the symptoms of sinusitis make it more difficult to breathe while sleeping, someone diagnosed with chronic sinusitis who does not properly treat it is more prone to developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea that is associated with chronic sinusitis can be treated more effectively when the sinusitis is treated first.

If a patient has a mild case of sleep apnea, doctors typically recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and sleeping on your side instead of your back or stomach. Other treatments are considered in more severe cases.

It’s important to remember that sleep apnea is a sleep disorder, whereas sinusitis is a temporary infection. Sinusitis will eventually go away or can be treated with antibiotics. Once you have addressed the sinusitis, you won’t suffer from breathing problems at night caused by an infection. However, chronic sinusitis does increase your risk of sleep apnea caused by nasal congestion. Sleep apnea cannot be treated with medication and will not simply clear up on its own. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or chronic sinusitis, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Contact Us

Are you concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea? Consult with the experts at Silent Night Therapy to find out more about our testing and solutions to this common problem. Call us at (631) 983-2463 to get the answers you’re looking for today.




Will Sleep Apnea Affect Your Life Expectancy?

Posted on Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at 10:30 pm    

About 50 million Americans suffer from sleep-related problems with sleep apnea being one of the most common and serious conditions. Sleep apnea involves the repetitive collapse of the airway while sleeping, which closes off the airway and blocks airflow. While most people who suffer from sleep apnea are middle-aged or elderly and overweight, people of any age, race, or gender may have this problem.

Sleep apnea can shorten your lifespan, so it’s important to have it diagnosed and treated as soon as you experience symptoms. Common warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Awaking with a sore throat
  • Loud persistent snoring
  • Silent pauses during breathing
  • Choking or gasping sounds
  • Lack of energy during the day
  • Fatigue while driving
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Restless sleep
  • Frequent bathroom visits
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Depression
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness

Sleep apnea can lead to premature death. Research shows that mortality risks are higher in those who have sleep apnea because it interrupts circadian rhythms, throws off the chemistry between the body and brain, increases blood pressure, disrupts cardiac and respiratory function, and elevates the heart rate. When sleep apnea is allowed to continue untreated, it will likely lead to a shorter death.

People with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have a heart attack, twice as likely to have a stroke and more than three times the risk of premature death. Those who have suffered from sleep apnea for up to 5 years have a 30% jump in their risk of suffering a heart attack or dying, according to a Yale University study.

The level of severity of your sleep apnea increases your risk for either a heart attack or death. An 18-year mortality follow-up study published in Sleep in 2008 found that over 40% of the deaths in those with severe sleep apnea were due to cardiovascular disease. The chance of heart-related death was over five times greater among those with untreated severe sleep apnea as opposed to those who did not have the condition.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2005 found that people who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to die in their sleep due to a sudden heart attack. On the other hand, people who don’t have sleep apnea tend to die of heart attacks during the day.

The key is to treat your sleep apnea sooner rather than later. As shown by the research, untreated sleep apnea may lead to tragic results. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor as soon as possible about seeing a sleep specialist who can recommend treatment options.

Contact Us

Dr. Clifford Brown and the OSA team are here to answer any questions you have about sleep apnea and treatment. We’ll help you find the solution that will help you get a better, healthier night’s sleep. Call us at (631) 983-2463 to schedule an appointment with our team today.



Mouth Breathing and OSA

Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019 at 9:32 pm    

While normal breathing is done through the nose, some people naturally breathe through their mouth. The main reason for breathing through the mouth is nasal congestion, due to chronic sinusitis, inflammation, allergies, or a deviated septum. However, there is a significant population of people that breathe through the mouth due to their sleep apnea.

During a sleep apnea episode, a person suddenly stops breathing. When the oxygen level dips, a person starts breathing in a way that causes loud snoring. A person will suddenly gasp or gulp in air as quickly as possible. Because of this phenomenon, an individual may develop a habit of breathing with the mouth open to accommodate the need for more oxygen.

Studies have found that breathing through the mouth makes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) worse. Many doctors will prescribe oral appliances since mouth breathing is so prevalent in sleep apnea patients.

If you are naturally a mouth breather, here are a few suggestions that will make a difference in your sleep. You must be able to breathe clearly through your nose, so finding out the cause of nasal congestion is helpful. Reduce potential allergens such as dander, dust, or dairy foods. Ensure that your bedding is clean, so change sheets and pillowcases regularly. Oral appliances, saline rinses, and other measures are also helpful. Regular exercise is essential to reduce obstructive sleep apnea. It is crucial that patients to stop breathing through their mouth, and learn to breathe through the nose since nasal breathing decreases the severity of OSA.

Stopping oral breathing is a crucial step to take for people who are dealing with sleep apnea. If you have more questions about OSA and mouth breathing, consult with the sleep experts at Silent Night Therapy. We can be reached at (631) 983-2463, or reach out to us online for help.

Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 at 7:11 pm    

Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, such as heart disease and depression. The disorder can also leave you feeling drowsy, increasing your risk of accidents while working or driving.

The three primary types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea The most common form of apnea where the muscles in the back of the throat relax, failing to keep the airway open. It can cause you to stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time many times throughout the night.
  • Central sleep apnea – The brain does not control breathing during sleep. Central sleep apnea may happen as a result of other health conditions, including stroke and heart failure. Sleeping at a high altitude can also contribute to central sleep apnea. Treatments involve treating existing conditions, using a device to assist breathing, or using supplemental oxygen.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome – Occurs when you have both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. However, not all snorers have sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, the snoring is likely to be followed by silent breathing pauses and choking or gasping sounds.

Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, although some of the symptoms are different depending on your age.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Frequent, loud snoring
  • Silent pauses in breathing
  • Gasping or choking sounds
  • Fatigue and daytime sleepiness
  • Unsatisfying sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Chest pain at night
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Irritability
  • Waking up to go to the bathroom
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Decreased sexual desire

Untreated sleep apnea is associated with health risks, so it is critical you consult a doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

Some people are at a greater risk of sleep apnea. Men are more likely to have it than women. However, the risk for women increases after menopause. Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of sleep apnea.

Hypertension is often linked to sleep apnea. High blood pressure can cause sleep apnea or worsen breathing in patients already affected by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea and high blood pressure are both associated with a greater risk for serious complications like heart attack and stroke.


For milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or losing weight. If you have allergies, your doctor will probably recommend medication or a nasal spray. If these measures don’t improve your apnea symptoms, a number of other treatments are available for moderate to severe apnea. The most common treatment is the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which involves a machine delivering air pressure through a mask while you sleep.

Sleep Apnea In Children

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 10%-20% of children who snore may have sleep apnea. Overall, an estimated 3% of children have sleep apnea. Warning signs of sleep apnea to look for in your child include snoring, breathing pauses during sleep, bedwetting, daytime fatigue, and mouth breathing while they’re asleep and awake.

See a Doctor

If you recognize any of the symptoms and warning signs mentioned in this article, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. A doctor will probably recommend a sleep study (which can be done from the comfort of your own home) that examines your breathing patterns while you’re asleep. The sooner you identify and begin treating sleep apnea the better. At Silent Night Therapy, we are passionate about helping our neighbors in New York get better sleep. Contact us today at (631) 983-2463 to learn more.

You’re Not Lazy, You’re Tired: Sleep Apnea and Work

Posted on Friday, April 19th, 2019 at 4:05 am    

Sleep apnea impacts how well we can perform in our everyday lives. Not only does sleep apnea diminish your attention span, ability to focus, and capacity to think critically but long term it can cause severe damage to your heart and brain.

Those who suffer from sleep apnea see the effects in their everyday lives, from their physical capabilities, personal relationships, and professional motivation. Though the complications that arise from this condition can be profound there are options.

If you are struggling to meet the demands of your everyday life because of sleep apnea, getting a proper diagnosis and the best oral appliance that will allow you to get high-quality, restful sleep.

Get Diagnosed

If you have sleep apnea, you are not a stranger to feeling lethargic when you wake up in the morning. When your alarm goes off, you are often left to wonder if you got any sleep at all. The days seem impossibly long, and the cycle continues. Because people with sleep apnea get poor quality sleep, it is common for them to oversleep and arrive late for work. Though some employers have flexible arrival hours, the majority of professions are relatively strict.

Fortunately, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) both contain provisions to protect employees with diagnosed medical conditions. Depending on your specific situation, you may be granted some time off to get the treatment and rest that you need. Additionally, if the treatment recommended by your doctor is not effective in improving how you feel, you may be eligible to apply for accommodations under workplace regulations. The foremost common denominator in all of this is that you get diagnosed.

Having a diagnosis from a physician and sharing the appropriate information with your employer is a crucial way to protect your working relationship. If you are showing up late, performing poorly, and displaying other unsatisfactory behaviors, your employer may get the wrong idea about your work ethic. Sleep apnea is a common condition and not something to be ashamed of. By disclosing your diagnosis, you are not making excuses, you are providing valuable context to your employer and ultimately keeping the lines of communication open.

Get Better; We Can Help

At Silent Night Therapy, we know how exhausted you feel when you have sleep apnea. Our professionals are here to help you find practical solutions so that you can be more present and engaged in your everyday life. If you are ready to start getting the quality sleep that you deserve, reach out to us today by calling (631) 983-2463 or by chatting with us live on online.

7 Reasons Why You Need 7 Hours of Sleep Per Night

Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 at 8:12 pm    

Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.6 million, or about 30%, of American adults are sleep deprived, meaning they’re sleeping six hours or less per night. This is a startling statistic because numerous studies conclude that too little sleep is bad for your health.

A 2009 Japanese study published in the academic journal Sleep looked at the sleep patterns of nearly 100,000 subjects aged 40 to 79. Their finding: the ideal amount of sleep is 7 hours per night. Too little sleep and too much sleep was linked to an increase in mortality, the study found.

Here are 7 reasons why sleep is so important:

  1. Improves productivity and concentration

Getting the optimal amount of sleep – 7-8 hours per night – can give you more energy. A good night’s sleep is important for brain function during the day. This includes concentration, productivity, cognition, and performance. Sleep deprivation negatively affects all of these functions. If you are sleep deprived, you will have a 50% slower response time on simple tasks than someone who is drunk, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation.

  1. Keeps your weight in check

Sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. According to a study published in the journal Obesity, sleep deprivation may increase one’s weight through its effect on appetite, physical activity, and thermoregulation. A study by the Sleep Research Society found an increased risk of obesity in children and adults who are short sleepers.

  1. Decreases risk of heart disease and stroke

A review of studies published in the European Heart Journalfound that people who are sleep deprived are at a much greater risk of heart disease and stroke then those who sleep 7-8 hours per night.

  1. Boosts your mood

A healthy amount of sleep can enhance well-being and lead to happiness. On the other hand, inadequate sleep has been linked to depression. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, about 90 percent of depressed people complain about the amount and quality of sleep they’re getting. Another study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, found that subjects who were limited to 4.5 hours of sleep reported feeling more sad, angry, and stressed. When the subjects switched to a healthier sleep pattern, they reported a drastic improvement in their mood.

  1. Lessens risk of diabetes

Sleep deprivation is linked to unhealthy blood sugar levels. In fact, lack of sleep can cause prediabetes in healthy adults in less than a week. Furthermore, numerous studies show a strong correlation between inadequate sleep and type 2 diabetes.

  1. Reduces stress

When you’re sleep deprived, your body goes into a state of stress. Bodily functions are put on high alert, leading to high blood pressure, which, in turn, increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

  1. Improves immune function

Not getting enough sleep can adversely affect your immune system, increasing your risk of catching a bad cold or the flu, for instance. A study by the American Medical Association found that those who slept fewer than 7 hours per night were nearly three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept more than 8 hours.

Are you getting less than the optimum amount of sleep per night? Do you find yourself having trouble falling and staying asleep? If so, Dr. Clifford Brown and the dedicated team at Silent Night Therapy can help. To discuss your options and schedule a sleep test, call us today at (631) 983-2463 or reach out to us on our website.

Benefits of Home Sleep Testing

Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019 at 6:50 pm    

Most of us don’t realize how important sleep is to virtually every aspect of our health. New studies are showing that sleep not only affects the energy we feel each day, it also affects our metabolism, hormone levels, body composition, and mental health.

Understanding how important sleep is should motivate those suffering from a sleep disorder to seek treatment, but it doesn’t often overcome the reluctance many feel to sleeping in an unfamiliar bed at a clinic where they are observed. If you fall into this category, you need to know about the exciting new option of home sleep studies.

Home Sleep Testing v. Clinic Sleep Study

Home sleep testing requires less money and time than a traditional sleep study in a clinic. In the comfort of your home, you can simply wear a medical device that tracks your breathing and other vital signs throughout the night as you sleep.

Rather than spending an entire night at a clinic, you simply pick up the equipment at your convenience and then put it on at night when you are ready to sleep. In the morning, you follow the instructions on the equipment to submit the data collected during the night. Doctors may ask you to wear it two nights in a row to confirm the results, but they will be able to evaluate the data quickly and diagnose what is causing your lack of quality sleep.

Is Home Sleep Testing Right For You?

Home sleep testing is most effective for determining if someone suffers from sleep apnea. If you have any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may have OSA (obstructive sleep apnea):

  • Loud, disruptive snoring
  • The tendency to awake in the night, gasping for air
  • Dry mouth when you wake up in the morning
  • A feeling of being tired, distracted, and irritable even after a full night’s sleep

OSA is a serious condition in which a person’s breathing essentially stops multiple times during sleep cycles, depriving the brain of oxygen and preventing a person from entering the REM stage of sleep needed to feel fully rested. If you think you suffer from OSA, a home sleep study may be able to help you get your health back on track. Ask your doctor today if it’s right for you.

Contact Us

Are you considering at-home sleep testing? Contact Dr. Clifford Brown and the experienced team at Silent Night Therapy to discuss your options and get a test scheduled. Call us at (631) 983-2463 or reach out to us online today.


World Sleep Day

Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at 2:14 pm    


Most of us understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, but far too many people fail to get adequate rest to stay healthy.

Sleep is used as the time for your body to re-configure hormonal balances and repair tired muscles. But sleep is not only crucial for your physical health! Nightly rest is also a necessity for mental and emotional health. Depression, anxiety, and other conditions are intimately related to sleep quality and length. One of the first steps in resolving these issues is finding a healthy balance of waking and sleeping hours.

World Sleep Day

This year, March 15th is World Sleep Day. This holiday is meant to celebrate the benefits of good sleep, as well as raise awareness about the dangers of poor sleep and sleep disorders. The World Sleep Society oversees the official promotion and planning for World Sleep Day, but anybody can celebrate the holiday. The only necessary products are a bed and blanket, some time to rest, and an appreciation of sleep.

World Sleep Day changes its date yearly; official criteria dictates the holiday as being the Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox. This year’s date is March 16th, while next year will be March 13th.

Signs of Poor Sleep

You may not realize that your sleep is inadequate or harmful to your health. If you regularly experience these symptoms, consider meeting with a medical professional to discuss your options:

  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Brain fog
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia

These and other symptoms may be indicative of serious sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, an increasingly common sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing issues continuously interrupt sleep.

How We Can Help

World Sleep Day is just a few days away. You deserve a good night’s rest to celebrate! If you are suffering from poor sleep, you should take steps to improve it.

At Silent Night Therapy, we are intimately familiar with sleep apnea and its variations, most common of them being obstructive sleep apnea. Our custom-fitted oral appliance is measured and made for you to wear to bed and sleep better. Other solutions are available as well.

If you keep having bad nights of rest or if you have other sleep issues, expert professionals at Silent Night Therapy can help. Contact us at (631) 983-2463 for an appointment today.

Diseases Caused by Lack of Sleep

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2019 at 3:21 pm    

Approximately one out of every three people suffers from irregular sleep at night. There are several side effects of not getting a good night’s sleep, such as feeling sluggish, moody, or unable to focus. However, sleep deprivation can also be the cause of serious diseases and have profound consequences on your health. If you do not get a regular amount of sleep each night, you are facing the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even cancer. All of these following diseases may shorten your life expectancy.

Heart Disease

Individuals who suffer from sleep deprivation are more likely to develop heart disease and experience a stroke, irregular heartbeat, or hypertension. Strong evidence suggests that sleep apnea and heart disease are linked. People with sleep apnea can wake up several times a night due to their airways closing once they are asleep. A special medical device called an apnea monitor, or CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device may be needed for some people to get a good night’s rest.


Not getting any sleep has been connected to depression. Studies have shown that individuals who slept less than four or five hours a night felt angry, stressed, less optimistic and experienced severe mental exhaustion. Recent research conducted has found that the symptoms of depression decrease once a person’s sleep schedule is restored to a normal amount.


Research has shown that lack of sleep is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes by influencing the way your body processes glucose. Several studies have found that adults who do not get more than five hours of sleep a night have an increased risk of developing or worsening their diabetes.


There may be a possible correlation between cancer and people who work odd shifts, thus depriving themselves of proper sleep. A study conducted by the International Journal of Cancer demonstrated that women who worked night shifts had a chance of developing breast cancer at a 30% higher rate than women that worked regular shifts. Men who worked overnights shifts had a high rate of getting prostate cancer.

The amount of sleep that you need depends on your age. Children generally need between 9-11 hours of sleep, while adults should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night on average. If you are experiencing sleep deprivation, the dedicated professionals at Silent Night Therapy can help you. Contact us at (631) 983-2463 for an appointment today.

What are the Different Types of Sleep Apnea?

Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2019 at 2:13 pm    

Sleep apnea affects more than 18 million people in the United States and is defined as abnormal breathing that happens while an individual is asleep. Sleep apnea is more common with men than women, particularly in Hispanic and African American populations. Other risk factors include being obese and over the age of 40, although sleep apnea can occur in individuals of any age, including children.

Despite widespread awareness of this disease, there are people who still remain undiagnosed and unaware that they have this severe condition. If left untreated, sleep apnea is linked to serious health issues, such as high blood pressure, depression, stroke, obesity, cancer, and even diabetes.

There are three main types of sleep apnea, which include:

Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your upper airway is blocked during sleep. This can result in the chest muscles and diaphragm working harder to open the blocked airways to let air go through the lungs. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause irregular heart rhythms as well as reduce the flow of oxygen to vital organs. Most individuals are not aware that this is occurring while they sleep during the night.

Central sleep apnea: Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain cannot send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. However, central sleep apnea doesn’t cause blockages in the airway. There is a disconnection that happens between the brain and the muscles that control breathing and it causes this particular type of sleep apnea.

Complex sleep apnea: This type is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea happens when a person has a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. A person who previously had OSA develops central sleep apnea because of treatment received and with the constant use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.

Major symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring, dry mouth, headaches, and sleepiness during the day, waking up consistently during the night, and other symptoms.
If you think you have sleep apnea, participating in a sleep study in a lab or at home can show the cause of your sleep disruption. Sleep apnea can be effectively diagnosed, and there are many effective treatment options available. Contact Silent Night Therapy by calling us at 631-983-2463 for more information about treatments.