Blog Archive

Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Sleep Enough Dec 1st, 2019

If you’re struggling with insomnia or a related sleep disorder like sleep apnea, the long-term impact on your body may be harsh. The physicians at Northwest Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine can help you manage your sleep issues, so you can experience better physical health. Lack of sleep can have a...

Spotting the Warning Signs of Lung Cancer Nov 1st, 2019

There are over 220,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year. Many people don’t realize their symptoms are from lung cancer until their disease is far progressed. And because it’s often diagnosed so late, that makes it one of the deadliest forms of cancer. While not every cough or...

How to Stay Active Despite Asthma Oct 1st, 2019

Asthma can be a scary condition, requiring lifelong vigilance to avoid serious issues. However, it doesn’t have to mean giving up on having fun and participating in physical activities. At Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Algonquin, Illinois, our team of asthma treatment specialists can help you create an asthma-friendly...

Why Pneumonia Is So Dangerous for the Elderly Sep 1st, 2019

Pneumonia is a treatable illness that gets a bad reputation for turning serious without proper medical attention and care. This infection affects the air sacs in either one or both of your lungs. These sacs become inflamed filling with fluid or pus, which brings on fits of coughing, fever, chills,...

What Can I Do About Chronic Bronchitis? Aug 1st, 2019

While coughing is not something you want to do all the time, it does serve a productive purpose. It’s the response of the lungs to get rid of things that can be harmful. But if you’re coughing too much and too often, you may be suffering from chronic bronchitis, which...

Adjusting to Life With a CPAP Machine Jul 2nd, 2019

Discovering that you need to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night can involve a difficult adjustment. Many people become very anxious just thinking about using this device. However, it’s important to deal with these feelings of anxiety correctly and to take the necessary steps to adequately...

COPD Triggers and How to Avoid Them Jun 1st, 2019

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is a pulmonary disease characterized by persistent difficulty in breathing and often accompanied by coughs, mucus production, and wheezing. It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that is caused by consistent exposure to irritants in the air. If left untreated, COPD can...

How Common is Adult-Onset Asthma? May 1st, 2019

For the past twenty years, asthma has been on the rise in both children and adults around the world. The symptoms of asthma in adults and children are similar -- both include having shortness of breath, tightening in the chest, wheezing, and coughing. Although most people associate this condition with...

Did You Know That Sleep Apnea Raises Your Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death? Apr 15th, 2019

As a sufferer of sleep apnea,you put up with a lot. From all-day fatigue to morning headaches, you’re among an estimated 12 million American adults who do battle with this condition from morning through most of the night. Yet among the symptoms, what you may not expect is a sky-rocketing...

Is Snoring Always a Cause for Concern? Mar 18th, 2019

Is Snoring Always a Cause for Concern? The quick answer about snoring as a cause for concern about a health issue is no, it’s not always an indicator of a breathing disorder. However, as with many symptoms of many conditions, quick answers don’t apply to every situation. Occasional snoring can...

Sleep Apnea Mar 1st, 2019

You’ve had a long day. Exhausted and drained, you fall into a deep sleep, only to be constantly nudged by your partner to stop snoring. Or perhaps you have a sinus infection that is preventing you from breathing comfortably and you sound like you’re grinding an ax. To be sure,...

Different Types of Pulmonary Infections Feb 15th, 2019

Many infections can afflict the human body, but a set of them target the lungs. These conditions range from the manageable such as asthma to more severe chronic diseases including COPD and cancer. Approximately 235 million people suffer from asthma, and more than 200 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Infections of...

Connections Between Sleep Disorders and Pregnancy Feb 1st, 2019

Getting enough sleep helps to maintain an excellent quality of life. However, a lack of proper rest can lead to irritability, poor judgment, chronic fatigue, weight gain, decreased productivity, and diminished immune function. Pregnancy brings a host of additional issues when it comes to sleep. Many pregnant women – even those who...

What Can Affect Your Circadian Rhythm Jan 18th, 2019

With all the conveniences of modern life, you would think our bodies would have evolved too. So it may come as a shock – with 24/7 access to work, shopping and entertainment – that humans continue to be governed by the same internal rhythms as most animals, birds and even...

Do I Really Need a CPAP Machine If I Have Sleep Apnea? Jan 4th, 2019

Sleep apnea is a common problem that affects many adults, particularly males over the age of 40. CPAP machines help patients with breathing issues get adequate oxygen into their lungs, but the jury is out as to whether or not these machines are necessary or even helpful for the majority...

Early Birds vs. Night Owls: Which Is Better for You? Dec 28th, 2018

The old saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” And when it comes to the study of sleep medicine and how sleep patterns relate to good health, that saying very well might be true! Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl depends largely on your unique internal...

Is There Really Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Pet? Nov 2nd, 2018

There are cat people and there are dog people. Cat people love the playfulness of a kitten and the low-maintenance of an adult cat, while dog people spend a Saturday playing Frisbee with their best friend, or snuggling up to watch TV. For whatever reason why someone is a dog...

FAQs About CPAP Machines Oct 26th, 2018

If you’ve been having trouble breathing while you sleep, or you’ve been considering asking your doctor about a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, we’re here to answer your questions. Below are some of the most common questions we get about CPAP machines: 1. How Can I Get a CPAP? A...

Common Fall Allergies Sep 28th, 2018

Most people think of springtime pollen, flowers and buzzing insects when they consider seasonal allergies. But allergies are a year-round phenomenon, with fall being especially taxing, That’s because fall allergy triggers are different, but they can cause just as many symptoms as in spring and summer. When the weather cools...

Asthma Triggers and What to Do about Them Sep 14th, 2018

Most asthmatics know the basics of what sets their asthma symptoms off, such as pollen or hay fever. However, many people may not be fully aware of all of their triggers. One person’s triggers can be very different from another’s. Knowing your triggers can help you best avoid them and...

Daily Habits That Could Hinder Your Sleep Jul 13th, 2018

Are You Sabotaging Your Slumber? Millions among us are suffering from “sleep debt”, an epidemic of enormous proportions. Prolonged insufficient sleep – due to long hours burning the midnight oil, caffeine, energy drinks, late-night use of social media, light pollution, or repeatedly hitting the snooze button – can really add...

Patient Perspective: Changing My Lifestyle Improved my COPD and Saved My Life Jul 13th, 2018

About eight years ago I hit the figurative brick wall medically.  I was diagnosed with emphysema, thanks to having smoked two packs of cigarettes a day since I was in college.  I needed supplemental oxygen, a nebulizer which I used twice daily, as well as a CPAP machine as I...

What is Mesothelioma? May 4th, 2018

Malignant mesothelioma is cancer of the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. It can be found in one or more of these places. Mesothelioma is rare, with about 3,000 people diagnosed each year in the United States. It is, unfortunately, very aggressive and there is no cure. Most people...

Dealing with Allergy Symptoms Apr 20th, 2018

Allergies – they are a nuisance to all who suffer from them. Researchers of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimate that 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies. That means that about one out of every five Americans suffer from some form of allergies, whether...

How the Flu Affects Your Lungs Mar 9th, 2018

The flu virus, or influenza, is often considered a respiratory illness. That means it infects your throat, your nose, and sinuses, and can also infect your lungs. Some people are more vulnerable to complications that can affect their lungs, making the flu virus very dangerous. What are some common symptoms? The...

Common Questions About COPD Feb 16th, 2018

You just left your doctor’s office where you were told you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Admittedly, those words sound a little scary and while you were trying to take it in, you may not have thought to ask all the questions that are coming to mind now. The truth...

What to Do to Keep Yourself Healthy When You Have Asthma Dec 22nd, 2017

What is Asthma? Asthma is a chronic illness that causes inflammation and narrowing of the breathing airways, resulting in episodes of wheezing, coughing, increased secretions, and shortness of breath. The narrowing can be reversed, or even prevented, with the right behaviors and treatment. The episodes of narrowing are generally triggered by...

How Can Nebulizers Help Your Asthma? Dec 8th, 2017

Get to know and avoid your trigger factors; those that induce attacks, such as cigarette smoke, dust, pets, and other allergens. Being aware of these asthma attack triggers and avoiding them as best you can, can go along way towards controlling your symptoms. Anyone who has asthma, or lives with someone...

Preparing for A Home Sleep Test Nov 10th, 2017

Some of the most common questions sleep specialists get asked by patients are: What is the difference between an at-home sleep study and one done at a sleep center? Which is better? Which is more affordable? Which is best for diagnosing my disorder? At Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, we...

The Different Types of COPD Nov 3rd, 2017

Breathing is a necessity, an involuntary action that is second nature to anyone with a beating heart. However, when breathing problems persist, every breath can feel like a planned event, pushing yourself to stay alive. Patients with conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) struggle with breathing, and if...

What is an EpiPen? Sep 29th, 2017

Epinephrine auto-injectors such as an EpiPen can make all the difference, and are often seen as the one thing between life or death for people with severe allergies. EpiPen’s are frequently used for people who have severe allergies to bee stings, or for those with severe allergies to foods such...

Your Eating Habits Could Be Making You Tired Sep 15th, 2017

Do you feel fatigued and just drowsy for most of the day? Lack of sleep isn’t the only thing sapping your energy. Little things you do (and don’t do) can exhaust you both mentally and physically, which can often make getting through the day a chore. Maintaining a healthy diet...

Do Allergies Actually Become Worse? Jul 21st, 2017

Allergy season is that dreadful time of year for incessant sneezing, itchy eyes, runny noses, and brain fog. There is no doubt that allergies are quite annoying, putting a damper on your day to day wellness. For some people, it seems as though they get worse every year, hitting harder...

Can You Outgrow Penicillin Allergies? Jun 23rd, 2017

Were you told that you were allergic to penicillin as a kid? If the answer is yes, and you haven’t used it since, you might be in for a surprise. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, it is possible that you may have outgrown the allergy...

What is Pleurisy? May 19th, 2017

Pleurisy (also called pleuritis) is inflammation of the lining (known as the pleura) around the lungs, which can cause sharp chest pains that worsen with inhaling and exhaling. The pleura is made up of two slippery membranes that cushion the lungs as they inflate and deflate with air. The visceral...

Is there an Allergen in Your Bed? How Good Sleep Hygiene Can Help Alleviate Your Allergy Problems May 12th, 2017

When you crawl into your bed after a long, exhausting day, the last thing you need is to share that space with a bunch of dust mites and other allergens. That’s where good sleep hygiene can really pay off, helping you to remove or reduce pet dander, dust mites, and...

Handling Asthma Attacks: What to do Feb 17th, 2017

When Asthma Attacks If you or someone you love is suffering from asthma, you know how an attack can be unnerving, to say the least. When dealing with any crisis, be it asthma or otherwise, the main thing to remember is to stay as calm as possible. This can be...

What is the Best CPAP Mask for Me? Dec 8th, 2016

With the amount of cases of sleep apnea increasing, the need for comfortable and effective CPAP masks also increase. Sleep apnea is a condition whereby a person often has difficulty breathing due to frequent breathing gaps throughout the nights. Due to this lack of breathing, sufferers of sleep apnea often experience light...

Can Snoring Be a Sign of a Sleep Disorder? Nov 11th, 2016

A lot of people snore, so many in fact that it has become a common part of our daily lives. According to WebMD, snoring occurs when the flow of air from the mouth or nose to your lungs causes the airway tissue to vibrate, this can either be from an...

Preparing for a Sleep Study Nov 4th, 2016

Are you waking up groggy and tired? Are you having problems staying awake? Do you often feel like you do not have enough energy during the day? Well, it may be due to lack of restful sleep. There are many different conditions such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep...

A Sleep Study May Be Just What You Need Sep 30th, 2016

Do you snore? Do you wake up feeling exhausted like you haven’t slept at all? Is it difficult for you to stay awake during the day and focus on your work? These are some of the more common symptoms of sleep disorders. There are many different factors that can cause sleep...

COPD and Pneumonia – A Serious Combination Sep 23rd, 2016

Fall is upon us, and winter is just around the corner. This is the beginning of cough, cold, and flu season, which can easily lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia can be a serious illness, even for presidential candidates, as we have recently seen in the news. Hillary Clinton’s recent case of pneumonia...

Deep Sleep and Sleep Monitors – What’s The Connection? Sep 18th, 2016

Living an active and healthy lifestyle is important to our mind, body and spirit. It is certainly true that good health and fitness makes us feel good. It can help us to stay stronger as we age, alleviate aches and pains, and improve our mood. What, then, about the inactive...

BLOG COPD and Pneumonia – A Serious Combination September 23, 2016 COPD and Pneumonia Fall is upon u Aug 19th, 2016

Restful sleep. Deep sleep. Peaceful, rejuvenating sleep. Sleeping like a baby. These are all ways to describe a good night’s rest. But what if you are one of the million Americans who work at night and sleep during the day? Approximately 20% of us work shift work, which is defined...

Children Can Suffer From Sleep Apnea Too Aug 12th, 2016

When thinking of sleep apnea, you are likely to think of the typical stereotype of a sleep apnea sufferer, a middle-aged overweight male. It is unlikely that you would associate sleep apnea with children. However, it is more common than you might think. It is estimated that 1 to 4%...

Lung Cancer? There’s an App for That! Aug 6th, 2016

A new discovery has found a way to provide follow up treatment for lung cancer patients.  This new approach to follow-up care is actually improving quality of life and increasing longevity during the process.  This new web-based tool has a mobile application that doctors soon may be using with their...

Sleep Apnea Often Undiagnosed in Women Jul 29th, 2016

According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 18 million American adults live with sleep apnea. However, the actual number of sufferers could be higher because women with sleep apnea are often misdiagnosed. Women with sleep apnea are often misdiagnosed with these common conditions: Depression or anxiety General fatigue Anemia Menopausal changes...

Asthma is a Chronic Lung Condition, but Can You Outgrow It? Jul 22nd, 2016

The health of our children is of the utmost importance. All we want to do is make them feel better. When it comes to a chronic medical condition like asthma, the first question to the doctor might be, will they outgrow it? Many other questions come to mind like, what...

What Are the Benefits of a CPAP machine? Jul 15th, 2016

It is estimated that 18 million adults suffer with obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, yet many of these people do not use a CPAP machine. Why?  Simple answer is that many people are unaware they have a sleep disorder. If you sleep alone or live alone, it can be difficult...

What is Your Cough Telling You? Jul 11th, 2016

Coughing is the body’s natural cleansing process for the airways. Coughs are classified by being either wet or dry, identifying which type of cough you have may provide treatment options that could help you get better sooner. Wet Cough A wet cough, or productive cough, clears the mucus (phlegm) from the...

Undiagnosed sleep apnea leads to injury and job loss Jun 30th, 2016

Think your lack of sleep doesn’t affect your job?  Think again. When your brain is starved of oxygen during an episode of sleep apnea, you cannot expect to perform your best at work the next day. You may experience trouble focusing and concentrating. You will feel sluggish and sleepy during the...

Breathing problems that affect sleeping Jun 27th, 2016

The connection between pulmonology and sleep medicine is not always obvious to patients.  Pulmonology is the medical specialty that deals with respiratory health. If you are having issues breathing, your doctor may refer you to see a pulmonologist. We will evaluate your lung function and check for signs of asthma, COPD, and...

Obstructive versus central sleep apnea: What’s the difference? Jun 21st, 2016

Pulmonologists specialize in breathing disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, and respiratory infections. We also treat sleep disorders that affect your breathing. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and mixed sleep apnea (a combination of the two). All types of sleep apnea cause...

SpiroCall Measures Lung Function Over the Phone Jun 17th, 2016

Researchers have found a way to package the technology of a spirometer into any mobile phone – no app necessary. A spirometer is a technology-based diagnostic tool that pulmonologists (doctors who specialize in respiratory health, lung disease, etc.) use to analyze lung function. People with asthma, cystic fibrosis, and COPD...

Millions of Smokers May Have Undiagnosed Lung Disease Dec 11th, 2015

Fifty-five percent of those who pass lung function tests still have a respiratory impairment, researchers report. But, using advanced imaging techniques along with walking and quality-of-life tests can reveal early signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). An incurable, progressive disease, COPD is associated with smoking and is the third-leading...