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Sleep Disorders

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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder characterized by loud snoring and repeated episodes of complete or partial blockage of the upper airway, caused by the muscles of the throat relaxing during sleep. This blockage interrupts breathing during sleep, resulting in the “cessation of breathing” (apnea) and the brain quickly signals the muscles of the chest and diaphragm to open the airway. This sudden muscle reaction often causes the sleeping person to make loud gasping or snorting noises or jerk their bodies.

Commonly, the person with the syndrome does not notice the symptoms of sleep apnea, but rather a spouse, family member, or housemate, who observes or hears the person sleeping.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Medicine in New York City
  • Fatigue or excessive sleepiness during the day

  • Struggle waking up in the morning

  • Snoring

  • Gasping or choking while asleep

  • Restless sleep or night sweats

  • Difficulty concentrating, absent-mindedness or forgetfulness

  • Depression or irritability throughout the day

  • Dry mouth or sore throat throughout the night or when waking up

  • Morning headaches

  • Sexual dysfunction

If you suspect that you may suffer from OSA, please contact the office (call Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology) to schedule an evaluation.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

After a physical examination and an assessment of your medical and sleep history, Dr. Teller will arrange for an overnight sleep study, known as polysomnogram (PSG). Depending on patient risk factors, insurance and symptoms, the sleep study may be done at home or in a sleep center. This test will record and analyze your breathing and body functions during sleep. The results from this test will allow Dr. Teller to diagnose and grade the severity of your sleep apnea and then prescribe treatment.

Risk Factors

Obstructive sleep apnea is two times more likely to occur in men than in women. The following factors increase a person's chance of experiencing sleep apnea:

  • Decreased muscle tone of the upper airway

  • Obesity Family history of OSA

  • Post menopause

  • Large neck

  • Other medical conditions that cause breathing obstruction

Additional factors that increase your risk of developing sleep apnea:

  • Smoking

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart Disease

  • Stroke

Why Treat Sleep Apnea?

Untreated moderate to severe sleep apnea can result in an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, elevated blood sugar and cancers. There is a higher rate of motor vehicle accidents in patients with untreated sleep apnea.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Depending on the degree of your sleep apnea, treatment recommendations may include:

Physical & Sleep Modifications

  • Weight loss

  • Avoidance of alcohol and sedatives

  • Prescribed decongestants or nasal sprays

  • Proper sleep hygiene

  • Positional Therapy: the use of pillows or other devices to sleep in the side position

Machine & Dental Device Assistance

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

  • Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP®)

  • Auto-PAP: mask worn over nose and/or mouth to force air into the airway during sleep

  • Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD): dental device worn during sleep to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway


  • Somnoplasty: a minimally invasive surgical procedure using radiofrequency to tighten the soft palate in the back of the throat.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or UP3): a surgical procedure to remove soft tissue in the back of the throat and palate that increases the width of the airway at the throat opening.

  • Mandibular/maxillary advancement surgery (MMA): a surgical procedure moving the jawbone and face bones forward to open up the throat.

Please make an appointment today with Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology. Relief from your Obstructive Sleep Apnea is just around the corner.
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Suite 601 (at Park Avenue South)

New York, NY 10016

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