Dr. Michael Gelb, Sleep Apnea and TMJ Expert

Community Spotlight with Dr. Michael Gelb

Dr. Michael Gelb

Dr. Michael Gelb of the Gelb Center

Natural Awakenings talks with Dr. Michael Gelb
who has been researching the effects of sleep apnea on human performance and focus for the last 20 years. He is a clinical professor at NYU, with private practices in NYC and White Plains, where he runs the Gelb Center.

Tell us about the Gelb Center.
We are a Center for Headache, TMJ and Sleep Disorders with a variety of specialists to complement our diagnosis and treatment services. We treat some patients from the top down and others from the bottom up. We are happy to work with our patients’ MDs, ENTs (Ear, Nose and Throat doctors) Chiropractors and Physical Therapists.

You’re known as an expert in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.  If someone snores, should they be tested for sleep apnea?
They should be studied if they awaken fatigued and fall asleep easily and often, or have high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Loud snorers with poor memory or an inability to focus should also be studied. Of course, if you wake up gasping for air or startled you should be studied immediately.

What are some other symptoms of sleep apnea?

In addition to snoring, common symptoms include non-refreshing sleep, daytime fatigue or tiredness, a history of falling asleep while driving, watching TV, or reading, morning headaches, elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, reflux, grinding, mood swings and symptoms of depression or anxiety.

How are patients with suspected sleep apnea referred to you?
Some come with a referral from an MD after a sleep study showed mild to moderate apnea. Others see me because a concerned wife or bed partner was being kept up by the loud snoring.

The Gelb Center also treats temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) disorder, or TMJ. How do people know if they have this?
When one’s bite is off it can cause symptoms from earaches to headaches and neck pain. Those usually occur in conjunction with clenching, grinding and stress.

How often are migraines associated with TMJ disorder?

Migraines are often associated with a stimulation of the trigeminal system, which includes muscles, nerves, teeth and of course the TMJ.

You’ve opened a new center in New York City. How does it differ from your White Plains office?
In New York City we have an integrated team of physical therapists, chiropractors, a psychologist and a nutritionist. We also have the latest CT scan and other diagnostic equipment. We bring our New York City team to Westchester every Thursday for the same high quality treatment.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gelb, call 914.686.4528, 212.752.1662 or visit GelbCenter.com.

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