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Sleep Apnea Specialist

Matthew W. Shawl, MD -  - Facial Plastic Surgeon

Matthew W. Shawl, MD

Facial Plastic Surgeon & Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist located in Union Square, New York, NY

Sleep apnea is a common, yet scary condition, that affects your breathing while you sleep. While the causes of sleep apnea are multifactorial, your nightly breathing issues may be related to a condition that affects your ears, nose, or throat. Board-certified otolaryngologist Matthew W. Shawl, MD, in New York City specializes in the management of sleep apnea and can determine if your breathing issues are due to an underlying ear, nose, or throat issue. To schedule an appointment, call the Union Square office in Manhattan or book an appointment online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop, or be very shallow, several times throughout the night as you sleep. The pauses in-between breaths can be seconds or minutes and can be scary for both you and your sleeping partner.

There are two primary types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and occurs when the muscles in your throat relax, obstructing your airway.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs when there’s a problem in communication between your brain and the muscles that control your breathing.

You can suffer from both obstructive and central sleep apnea, which is a condition referred to as complex sleep apnea syndrome. 

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea can be similar. Common symptoms include:

  • Snoring loudly
  • Waking up with a headache or dry mouth
  • Gasping for breath while you sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty staying awake during the day
  • Irritability

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition. If you suspect that you or a loved one has sleep apnea, you should schedule an appointment for an evaluation. Typically, a sleep study is recommended to confirm a diagnosis. 

What ear, nose, and throat conditions affect sleep apnea?

If you receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, you may be advised to schedule an appointment with an ENT specialist like Dr. Shawl. There are many ear, nose, and throat conditions that contribute to your nightly breathing difficulties, including:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Narrow throat (usually inherited)

In most cases, Dr. Shawl can provide treatment for these conditions, with medication or surgery, which may improve your sleep apnea symptoms. 

What can I expect during an evaluation for my sleep apnea?

Dr. Shawl is a courteous and dedicated physician who takes a patient-focused approach to care. He understands the concerns you may have about being diagnosed with sleep apnea and conducts a comprehensive evaluation to assess ear, nose, and throat health to see if they may be contributing to your breathing difficulties. 

Then, based on the results of your exam, he develops a plan to support your other sleep apnea treatments. 

To learn more about the ear, nose, and throat conditions associated with sleep apnea, contact Matthew W. Shawl, MD, by phone or online to schedule a consultation.