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How You Know It’s Time To See an ENT Specialist in NYC

Most patients with the occasional sore throat or stuffy nose reach out to their primary care physician for treatment. There are some symptoms, however, that indicate the need to see a specialist. An otolaryngologist, or ENT doctor, is a specialist who is specifically trained to medically and surgically treat conditions of the ear, nose and throat.

When Is It Time To See An ENT Specialist?

You might be considering reaching out to an ENT specialist in NYC, but are not sure if your symptoms warrant the visit. A good rule of thumb is, if the ear, nose or throat symptom is lasting, you probably need to see an ENT doctor.  Since ENT doctors are trained in both medicine and surgery, they can work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your individual circumstances.

Any of the following symptoms could signal the need to see an ENT specialist:

  • Persistent ringing in your ears
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Pain above and below your eyes (indicator of a possible sinus infection)
  • Frequent headaches
  • Lingering congestion
  • A deviated septum
  • Broken or otherwise injured nose
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Pus or unusual discharge
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Snoring
  • Breathing problems

Some symptoms might not seem to be related to the ear, nose and throat. For example, sleep apnea is a common condition, with numerous causes, which can lead to serious health concerns. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by multiple episodes of paused breathing, lasting more than 10 seconds at a time, due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. The result is lower blood oxygen levels, which makes the heart work harder. This disruption to the natural sleep cycle causes sufferers to wake up tired, even if they spent full night in bed.

Untreated sleep apnea is a serious problem that can significantly increase your health risks. Sleep apnea is closely linked to high blood pressure, caused by fluctuating hormone levels due to frequent waking. Obstructive sleep apnea sufferers are also more likely to have heart attacks or life-threatening cardiovascular issues. Type 2 diabetes is also closely associated with sleep apnea, as is weight gain. Along with direct health impacts, loss of sleep caused by sleep apnea increases the risk for accidents.

 What Are The Signs Of Sleep Apnea?

One of the most common indicators of sleep apnea is snoring. Because many do not view snoring as a medical issue, or one that is associated with the ear, nose and throat, many sufferers go untreated. An ENT specialist in NYC can help you find solutions for sleep apnea, many of which are non-invasive or minimally-invasive.

You might have sleep apnea if you have any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Loud snoring
  • Abrupt awakenings, usually with shortness of breath
  • Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth
  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Problems focusing or paying attention
  • The feeling like you are gasping for air as you fall asleep or wake up

What Are The Treatment Options?

It can be tempting to ignore these symptoms and let your sleep apnea remain untreated. Traditional treatments are often considered cumbersome, and are far from permanent. For many years, sleep apnea was treated solely by the use of bulky continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machinery.

Fortunately, modern medical advances have led to a host of new treatment options such as:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): Removes the excess soft palate tissue to open the airway.
  • Thermal ablation: Reduces tissue bulk in the nasal turbinates, tongue base and/or soft palate.
  • Genioglossus and hyoid advancement: A surgical procedure that prevents the collapse of the lower throat and pulls the tongue muscles forward, opening the obstructed airway.

Along with these and other minimally-invasive surgical options, a custom-fit oral appliance can also help provide snoring relief.

Where Can I Get My Snoring Evaluated in NYC?

When you’re ready to discover how a NYC ENT specialist can help you, schedule an appointment with Dr. David Volpi. As a board certified otolaryngologist, he’s gained over 25 years of experience and offers a wide range of state-of-the-art treatment options.

Dr. Volpi is one of the leading snoring and obstructive sleep apnea specialists in the country and the co-author of “Wake Up! You’re Snoring.” He is also the founder and CEO of eos sleep and has published a number of scientific articles on snoring and sleep related topics. To make an appointment at either his Upper East-Side or Upper West-Side offices, contact us through out web from or, by calling (212) 873-6036. Don’t let snoring ruin your health. Schedule your consultation today.

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Posted in: Ear nose and throat doctor, ent specialist