When a person has sleep apnea, the throat becomes blocked during the night, stopping their breathing for short periods of time. If you have sleep apnea, your partner may hear you alternate between snoring very loudly and being very quiet. You may even gasp or snort in your sleep. Other symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Waking up tired, even after a full night’s sleep
- Waking up with a headache,
- Feeling very sleepy or falling asleep at inappropriate times (i.e., while driving a car or while at work),
- Irritability and short temper,
- Problems with concentration or memory
Sleep apnea can leave you with a feeling of being constantly tired. Also, it can be associated with health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Everyone gets a sore throat at some time. The nose and throat are constantly defending against outside elements and bacteria. When bacteria settle in the nose, the bacteria are seized and dragged off to “battle stations” or lymph glands where the good white cells are kept. More good blood comes to the area. There, the concentration of good white cells can overwhelm the bacteria. But when the lymph material swells, this causes a painful throat. The throat infection may be from a bacteria or a virus or it may be part of a generalized infection.
When we speak, two membranes, the vocal cords, vibrate to make sound. Hoarseness indicates these cords are malfunctioning either from swelling after yelling at the football game, or infection, or excess smoking or something interfering with this movement.
At the start of hoarseness DO NOT GARGLE. This is like rubbing your eyes when they are inflamed. Reduce your talking, stay off the phone. Coughing makes hoarseness much worse. Steam is good – boil water, stick out your tongue and breathe the steam. Drink warm liquids – more is better, but not boiling hot. Avoid ice.
Bad breath is particularly bothersome because people rarely know they have it unless they are told of it. Yet it can spoil one’s social and even economic life. And mouth washes are not always useful. When bacteria stagnate, or remain in one place, they multiply and give off toxins and odors. So the treatment/ prevention is to avoid having bacteria accumulate in one spot. In the nose this means salt water nose spray or Pulsating Nasal Irrigation if you have crusts and other sources of odor. For the throat, check the teeth. Any open cavities? Any gum disease? I strongly recommend eating yogurt in order to bring in the good bacteria that make the mouth healthier. If the gums are red and swollen, better brushing and flossing is a must. A common cause of breath problems are the deep holes in the tonsils, known as crypts. These holes are supposed to be there, they provide areas where the good white cells of the body can fight the bad bacteria. Then the dead bacteria and dead white cells are extruded and swallowed. Sometimes the holes are too wide or crooked and the material gets to accumulate and cause odor.