Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatments at the New York Sleep Sinus & Thyroid Surgery Center in NY

Sleep Apnea Treatment
TEL:646.943.7985310 14Th STREET, SIXTH FLOOR NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10003FAX:212.979.4315

NY Sleep Apnea & Snoring

Sleep is a basic function necessary for human survival, but for many people suffering from sleep-disordered breathing problems, the body is not getting the rest it needs.  It’s estimated that 40 million Americans have disturbed breathing during sleep, ranging from moderate snoring to potentially life-threatening sleep apnea.  And while mild snoring may be no more than an annoyance to your bed partner, chronic, loud snoring may indicate a more serious condition known as sleep apnea.  In patients with sleep apnea, breathing stops repeatedly during sleep, sometimes up to hundreds of times every night.  Sleep apnea, if left untreated, could lead to a host of significant health issues, including heart problems, hypertension, and stroke. 

At New York Sleep, Sinus & Thyroid Surgery Center, we can help diagnose and treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, giving your body the rest and relief it needs. 

What causes snoring and sleep apnea?

When we fall asleep, our body naturally relaxes.  Unfortunately, for some people, when the soft palate tissue at the back of the throat relaxes, it narrows the throat.  When air is drawn in through the narrowed opening, the soft tissue vibrates, resulting in a snoring sound.  But sometimes snoring is only a symptom of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.  For people with obstructive sleep apnea, the soft palate tissue and tongue will relax and collapse into the throat during sleep, partially or completely obstructing the airway.  The sleeper will stop breathing until the brain signals the body to wake up and resume breathing.  Often, people with sleep apnea will not even realize that they are waking up repeatedly ―sometimes hundreds of times ― during the night. 

Factors that may contribute to sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive weight
  • Loss of muscle tone in throat, usually from aging
  • Anatomical structure of mouth and throat
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake

What is the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?

Chances are, if you snore regularly, your sleep partner has probably already let you know.  And while snoring can certainly be disruptive to your own sleep, as well as your partner’s sleep, sometimes the ramifications of snoring are more far-reaching than that.  It’s estimated that 12 million Americans have diagnosed sleep apnea, with another 10 million who don’t even realize that they have the condition.  And since untreated sleep apnea can give rise to a long list of serious health problems, it’s vitally important to find out if your snore is really something more.

While snoring can partially obstruct the airway, during sleep apnea episodes, the airway is completely closed and breathing stops.  For many people who suffer from sleep apnea, breathing can stop as frequently as a hundred times an hour, and pauses typically last for 10 seconds or longer.  This frequent disruption in the sleep cycle has been linked to a long list of potential health problems.

Sleep Apnea may contribute to many problems:

  • Sleepiness or exhaustion during the day
  • Poor concentration
  • Learning and memory difficulties
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Reflux
  • Difficulty staying awake while reading, working and driving
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches

How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?

While only a doctor can diagnose whether you have sleep apnea, there are symptoms that could signal a problem, such as excessive daytime fatigue and chronic, loud snoring. Not everybody who snores has sleep apnea, but the majority of people with sleep apnea do snore. If you suspect you may have apnea, you should ask your partner to describe your snoring. If your snoring and breathing patterns during sleep match those listed below, you should make an appointment with Dr. Shin to evaluate whether you may have sleep apnea.

Is it more than a snore? Signs that you may have sleep apnea:

  • Chronic, loud snoring, followed by periods of silence and then a sudden snorting or choking sound when breathing resumes.
  • Breathing that stops repeatedly during sleep.
  • Gasping for breath during sleep.
  • Sudden, frequent body movements (or jerking awake) during sleep.
  • Excessive daytime fatigue.
  • Not feeling refreshed, even after a full night’s sleep.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Dr. Shin will meet with you to discuss your symptoms and evaluate whether you might have obstructive sleep apnea.  Generally, there are two ways to diagnose sleep apnea:  polysomnography and home sleep studies. 

What is polysomnography?

Polysomnography is a special sleep study test that helps measure a wide variety of body functions during sleep, including brain activity, eye movement, muscle activity, heart and respiration rates, airflow, and blood oxygen levels.  Polysomnography tests are administered in a hospital or sleep center.  The patient is connected to numerous monitoring wires and sleeps overnight at the center, while body functions are monitored and recorded.  While polysomnography tests are safe and accurate, some patients find the tests inconvenient, uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing.  For patients seeking a more convenient and private testing method, Dr. Shin offers home sleep studies.

Can I take a sleep apnea test at home?

Absolutely.  Dr. Shin recognizes that spending a night in a sleep center may be inconvenient and uncomfortable for some patients.  That’s why we offer a home sleep study that patients can self- administer in the privacy and comfort of their own home.  Patients take home a special recorder that will help us analyze your breathing pattern, heart rate, and oxygen saturation levels to determine if you may suffer from sleep apnea.  The home sleep study is convenient and simple to use. 

How is sleep apnea treated?

It’s extremely important for patients to treat sleep apnea in order to avoid potentially serious health complications.  Treatment for sleep apnea will depend on each patient’s specific condition.  Dr. Shin offers a number of excellent treatment options for patients with obstructive sleep apnea.  For more information about treatment, please visit our snoring and sleep apnea treatments page or call the office to make an appointment for a personal consultation.   

How is snoring treated?

Chronic, heavy snoring should always be evaluated to determine if the snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea.  But, even if snoring is not indicative of apnea, many patients want to eliminate snoring so that they and their partners can get a better night’s sleep.  Dr. Shin offers a number of excellent treatment options that can help patients who snore.  For more information about treatment, please visit our snoring and sleep apnea treatments page or call the office to make an appointment for a personal consultation. 

How do I get more information about snoring and sleep apnea?

Dr. Shin and his team will be happy to discuss snoring and sleep apnea with you.  Please call 646.943.7985 to arrange for a private consultation or schedule an appointment online at our New York, NY office.