Sleep Apnea Specialist

Lexington ENT & Allergy

Otolaryngology located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Feeling tired when you wake up or dozing off throughout the day could be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that affects your breathing. At Lexington ENT & Allergy on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Alexa Lessow, MD, can treat sleep apnea and its symptoms so you can get a better night’s rest. Schedule an appointment by calling the New York City office or booking online to learn more about your options.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder that affects breathing, sleep quality, and overall quality of life. 

The condition causes your breathing to start and stop periodically because of airway obstruction or other causes. Its symptoms can range from mild to severe or life-threatening in some cases.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Some common symptoms you might experience with sleep apnea include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Fatigue 
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Breathing that starts and stops periodically
  • Gasping for air when you sleep
  • Problems staying asleep
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Irritability
  • Daytime sleepiness

Chronic sleep deprivation puts you at risk of unwanted weight gain and obesity-related diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. It also can lead to serious medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, stroke, and heart and lung problems. 

Visit Lexington ENT & Allergy for an evaluation at the first sign of sleep apnea, so you can get the treatment needed to get a good night’s rest.

What are the risk factors for sleep apnea?

While anyone can develop sleep apnea, the following factors increase your risk of it:

  • A thick neck
  • A narrow airway
  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Being male
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Sedative use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Chronic nasal congestion 

Having a stroke increases your risk of a type of sleep apnea called central sleep apnea. Chronic obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway narrows and obstructs your breathing.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

To find out if you have sleep apnea and develop a treatment plan, Dr. Lessow reviews your symptoms and medical history. 

She completes a physical examination and might recommend you complete a sleep study at a sleep center or at home to confirm your diagnosis. A sleep study evaluates your oxygen levels, heart rate, and factors that are affecting your quality of sleep.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Dr. Lessow develops a customized sleep apnea treatment plan, which might include:

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes that may help you breathe easier at night if you have mild sleep apnea, including not smoking, weight loss, and allergy treatments.


Wearing an oral appliance, or mouthpiece, when you sleep helps keep your throat open. Mouthpieces are often easier or more convenient than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. They help bring your jaw forward to relieve mild sleep apnea and snoring.

Breathing devices

Using a breathing device, such as a CPAP machine with a mask, while you sleep keeps your airway open and improves breathing.


In severe cases of sleep apnea, Dr. Lessow might recommend a minor surgical procedure to reposition your jaw, remove or shrink tissue, and widen your airway.

Don’t live with sleep deprivation associated with sleep apnea when simple treatments are available at Lexington ENT & Allergy. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online today.