Sleep Apnea Specialist

Richard L. Nass, M.D., F.A.C.S. -  - Otolaryngologist

Richard L. Nass, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Otolaryngologist & Sinus and Nasal Specialist located in Midtown East, New York, NY & East Hampton, NY

Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, according to the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. Board-certified otolaryngologist Richard L. Nass, M.D., F.A.C.S., utilizes the latest techniques and advanced technology to treat sleep apnea at his offices in Midtown East, Manhattan, and East Hampton, New York. Without treatment, sleep apnea interferes with your ability to experience restful sleep. To learn more, call Richard L. Nass, M.D., or schedule an appointment online now.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

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Individuals with sleep apnea experience repeated bouts of breathing that start and stop during sleep. These episodes can occur hundreds of times in a single night. Any irregularities in the nose, mouth, throat, and larynx can interfere with your ability to breathe while asleep. This leads to difficulties sending airflow throughout your body.

Once advanced, sleep apnea can increase your risk of several complications, including heart attack, stroke, depression, and erectile dysfunction.

Are there different types of sleep apnea?

The three most common types of sleep apnea include:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

OSA is the most prevalent type of sleep apnea in adults. The condition occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, causing the tissue they support to collapse and block your airways.

Central sleep apnea (CSA)

CSA happens when the brain fails to tell the muscles that control your breathing to activate.

Complex sleep apnea

While rare, complex sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA, meaning you have both conditions.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Loss of libido
  • Waking up gasping for air

Since sleep apnea interrupts sleep, you may find it difficult to concentrate and feel alert during the day.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

After a complete review of your medical history, Dr. Nass performs a comprehensive exam to check with blockages in the upper airway. Next, he orders an at-home sleep study. During this test, a device monitors your vitals, heart function (EKG), blood oxygen levels, and the number and length of abnormal breathing episodes. Monitoring your snoring and leg movements is also important. 

If the results return inconclusive, you may need to repeat the sleep study in a medical lab for overnight observation.

What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

 Sleep Apnea Graphic

While there are many treatments for sleep apnea, the most common are:

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP is a device that delivers constant airflow while you sleep. The device consists of a small machine that attaches to a mask, which fits over your nose.

Dental appliance

Dental appliances either pull your jaw forward or restrict your tongue to prevent blocked airways.

Surgery

If non-surgical treatments fail, surgery to remove or shrink the tissue in the back of your throat can help relieve your symptoms. Repositioning the jaw may also help prevent blockages.

Along with medical treatment, certain lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of your sleep apnea symptoms. Weight loss, reducing alcohol consumption, exercise, and sleeping on your side may help improve your quality of life. 

To learn more, call Richard L. Nass, M.D. or schedule an appointment online today.