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Are There Any New Treatments For Sleep Apnea

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Other Positive Airway Pressure Breathing Devices

New treatments help people with sleep apnea get better night’s sleep

In addition to CPAP, there are other devices that a sleep specialist may recommend for sleep apnea treatment.

Expiratory positive airway pressure single-use devices fit over the nostrils to help keep the airway open and are smaller, less intrusive than CPAP machines. These may benefit people with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Bilevel positive airway pressure devices can be used for those who are unable to adapt to using CPAP, or for central sleep apnea sufferers who need assistance for a weak breathing pattern. This device automatically adjusts the pressure while youre sleeping, providing more pressure when you inhale, less when you exhale. Some BiPAP devices also automatically deliver a breath if the mask detects that you havent taken one for a certain number of seconds.

Adaptive servo-ventilation devices can be used for treating central sleep apnea as well as obstructive sleep apnea. The ASV device stores information about your normal breathing pattern and automatically uses airflow pressure to prevent pauses in your breathing while youre asleep.

Protecting Your Brain And Heart

Researchers are studying the connections between sleep apnea, dementia, and heart disease to try to lower the risks for these diseases.

Scientists have discovered that the same abnormal protein that clumps up and damages the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease is also in the brains of people with sleep apnea. Understanding the reason for this shared link might lead to new treatments and ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Treating sleep apnea may help prevent dementia. In one study, older adults with sleep apnea who used CPAP were less likely to develop dementia or early-stage memory loss called mild cognitive impairment than people who didn’t use this treatment.

CPAP might also protect the heart. People with prediabetes who used this treatment had a lower resting heart rate — the number of times the heart beats per minute while you’re at rest. Having a lower resting heart rate could make you less likely to have a heart attack.

Studies find that people who stay on their CPAP treatment long term are less likely to have heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and a heart attack than those who don’t get treated.

Natural Remedies For Sleep Apnea

Caitilin Kelly, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine. She is clinical physician practicing at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital and the chair of the American College of Physicians’ Hospital Ethics committee. She is a delegate for the Indiana State Medical Association House of Delegates.

Sleep apnea is a serious and common condition marked by pauses in breathing, or shallow breaths, while you sleep. Occurring up to five or more times per hour, breathing pauses may last 10 to 20 seconds or longer. Sleep apnea often disrupts sleep, resulting in poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Family members or bed partners often pick up on the signs of sleep apnea first. Many people with sleep apnea don’t know they’re snoring and gasping for breath at night. If you have any of the following signs, see your doctor:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • loud snoring followed by silent pauses
  • gasping or choking during sleep
  • morning headache
  • poor concentration or memory loss
  • lowered sex drive

Snoring by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. It is true that loud snoring is common in people with this disorder, but there’s a big difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems. If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can lead to:

  • high blood pressure
  • work-related injuries

A More Efficient Surgical Approach

Insomnia &  Sleep Apnea Treatment

Following the FDA approval for the two-incision approach, the IPG and the sensor are now placed through the same incision. The sensor is placed deep onto the pectoralis major muscle between the second and third ribs in the anterior chest. This new technique is an improvement over the three-incision version. The surgery, which originally took around 100 minutes on average, is shorter by about 20 minutes because there is one less incision to create and then sutured closed. The patient also has a smoother recovery because there is one less surgical site that could cause post-operative pain. This is also beneficial for women who wear a bra because this third incision was positioned under the area of the typical bra strap.

Recovery is usually about 7-10 days due to some soreness at the operative sites. Patients are advised not to resume any strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks after surgery.

The Inspire implant program at Cleveland Clinic leverages the multidisciplinary nature of our group. Close collaboration between sleep medicine providers and sleep surgeons creates an environment of success for our patients. The Cleveland Clinic group model promotes interdisciplinary care. Constant communication between providers promotes improved results. If there are any issues that need to be addressed after activation, there is an easy pathway for surgical reevaluation.

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Surgical Treatments For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If everything else fails, surgery might be the last option to help improve your nighttime breathing.

However, for adults, surgery is not the first line of treatment for OSA. It’s only considered if a patient doesn’t improve with other types of therapy like using CPAP or oral appliances. For children, surgical removal of tonsils and adenoids is most commonly used as an initial form of treatment for sleep apnea.

Here are a variety of surgeries that might be recommended to you:

Who Qualifies For Inspire

Potential Inspire users with the following qualifications can get an airway exam to further determine if the device is right for them:

  • Experience moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
  • Unable to have consistent benefits using CPAP machine
  • Doesn’t have a BMI over 32*
  • Above the age of 18

*Maurits Boon, MD, said during the aforementioned informational event that while the device has been put into a patient with a BMI of 40, “patients with a significantly high BMI often won’t get approved for .” This could be because the device has yet to be thoroughly tested on subjects with a BMI over 32.

According to the brand’s site, the nonsurgical airway exam consists of taking a “short-acting” sleep medication, which will allow the doctor to send a camera down the throat to examine how a candidate’s airway opens and closes. At the end of the procedure, the doctor will be able to determine whether or not a person is qualified to have Inspire implanted.

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New Sleep Apnea Treatment Offers Cpap Alternative

People with obstructive sleep apnea who havent found relief may benefit from a new pacemaker-like device that keeps the airway open during sleep. When other options have failed, this treatment has allowed us to achieve a whole new level of success, said Matthew Ellison, MD, an otolaryngologist at Duke, the first center in North Carolina to implant the Inspire hypoglossal nerve stimulator system.

How Does Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment Work

New sleep apnea treatment!

Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment opens your airway by moving your tongue forward inside your mouth so that it doesnt block your breathing passages. The device consists of three major components: a monitor that measures your breathing, a nerve stimulator that adjusts your tongue placement, and a remote.

Before going to sleep, you turn on your device with the remote. Once activated, the device implanted in your upper chest begins to monitor your breathing. The device communicates with the nerve stimulator located under your chin each time you take a breath, and the stimulator sends a gentle pulse to the nerve that controls your tongues motor function. The stimulation causes your tongue to move toward the front of your mouth, clearing up more space for air to pass.

Because the treatment makes it easier to breathe, youre less likely to snore, stop breathing, gasp, or choke. This increases your overall sleep quality. Users report noticing the pulsing sensation beneath their chins while awake but not after falling asleep. The stimulation should not be uncomfortable or painful, though it is noticeable. You should not feel discomfort related to the device in your chest.

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Central Sleep Apnea Causes

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. This results in shortness of breath or difficulty with falling asleep or staying asleep. Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea but shares some of the same causes and risk factors.

Common central sleep apnea causes include:

  • Being older
  • Frequent use of opioids such as methadone
  • Heart disorders, including congestive heart failure
  • Stroke

Obstructive Sleep Vs Central Sleep

In people with obstructive sleep apnea , airflow to the lungs is blocked because the airway has collapsed or is obstructed during sleep.

Less common than obstructive sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, which results from miscommunication between your breathing muscles and the brain region responsible for controlling breathing.

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Oral Appliance Therapy For Osa

Oral appliances can benefit carefully selected OSA patients who prefer not to use CPAP or have comprehensive surgeries. Oral appliances improve upper airway patency during sleep by enlarging the upper airway or by decreasing upper airway collapsibility.16 Oral appliances can be categorized as tongue retaining devices and mandibular advancement devices , with the latter being more commonly used. MADs cover the upper and lower teeth and hold the mandible in a forward position with respect to the resting position and can be customizable or over-the-counter.16 Mandibular protrusion advances the tongue position and subsequently increases oropharyngeal volume.17

How Does Sleep Apnea Surgery Compare To Other Treatments

Central Jersey Dental Sleep Medicine

Comparing sleep apnea surgeries to other treatments is difficult. The gold standard treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. In general, healthcare professionals often prefer to try non-invasive therapies first, because of the potential risks attached to surgery.

Choosing the right surgery requires a clear understanding of what is causing symptoms, and especially in the case of OSA, this can vary from person to person. Moreover, surgical treatments may become less effective over time if people age or gain weight, which could cause sleep apnea symptoms to reappear.

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Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Or Upper Airway Stimulation

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation involves surgically implanting a device that feeds an electrical current to the tongue, causing it to stiffen or move forward and help clear the airway. This procedure can be conducted as outpatient surgery, and the voltage released by the device can be adjusted to the amount required to reduce symptoms in a given individual.

Some studies have shown HNS treatment is successful in more than 80% of cases, and many who receive it prefer it to CPAP therapy. There are several types of HNS implants available, and research suggests different types carry different success rates.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Doctors consider continuous positive airway pressure the gold standard treatment for OSA, and it is usually the first treatment offered to people diagnosed with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea. Generally, a CPAP machine plugs into an outlet and sits next to a sleepers bed, connecting to their face via a tube leading to a mask that covers either their mouth and nose or just their nostrils. Then, the CPAP machine blows air into the sleepers airway, making it less likely to close as they breathe during sleep.

CPAP is considered the most effective OSA treatment, but many people prescribed CPAP do not use it as often as they should. CPAP therapy is less effective at treating central sleep apnea. Sometimes oxygen is combined with a CPAP machine when treating people with CSA or mixed sleep apnea.

CPAP machines only push out air at one rate, which is often calibrated by the doctor to the average rate needed by the sleeper. Since some people have trouble tolerating this continuous level of air pressure, other options are available.

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Getting Used To Your Cpap Device

Ease into it. Start by using your CPAP device for short periods. Try wearing it for a half hour or an hour while sitting up in bed watching TV or reading a book. Once youve gotten used to that, try using it lying down or when napping.

Use the ramp setting. Most devices can be programmed to start slowly and gradually increase air pressure. The goal is to be asleep before the machine reaches your prescribed pressure setting. Most people find this makes falling asleep much easier and more comfortable.

Reset the machine if air flow wakes you. If a high-pressure stream of air wakes you up, turn the CPAP device on and off to restart the ramp setting.

Dr Krishna Sundar: Several New Treatments Are Emerging For Sleep Apneas

Medical Rounds: New treatment for sleep apnea

New devices can help to manage sleep apneas, but underlying conditions must be treated, too, noted Krishna M. Sundar, MD, clinical professor, Pulmonary Division, Department of Medicine, medical director, Sleep-Wake Center, University of Utah.

New devices, both implantable and external, can help to manage sleep apneas, but underlying conditions must also be treated, which can improve symptoms, too, explained Krishna M. Sundar, MD, clinical professor, Pulmonary Division, Department of Medicine, and medical director, Sleep-Wake Center, University of Utah.


What are the standard treatments for obstructive and central sleep apnea? Are there new developments?

So in obstructive sleep apnea, the standard therapy is CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy, which most are familiar with. We also are understanding that the nature of central sleep apnea is different from person to person and we need to personalize our approaches. So again, weight loss is important, as I talked about BMI is one of the major drivers of obstructive sleep apnea.

So, that’s all in terms of the obstructive sleep apnea space, in terms of various treatments. Again, the most recent is the hypoglossal nerve stimulator, which more and more patients are getting implanted.

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American Sleep Apnea Association

We envision a world in which most people suffering from sleep apnea are diagnosed, aware, educated and treated. This serious syndrome, when left untreated has a large influence on quality of life and multiple life-threatening implications. Yet it is highly treatable. Unfortunately it is estimated that more than 80% of people suffering from sleep apnea are undiagnosed. To help those living with sleep apnea, we work relentlessly to promote

  • better awareness in the general public and among health professionals and,
  • affordable, convenient and highly effective diagnoses and treatments.
  • What Surgical Treatment Options Are Available To My Osa Patients

    Because OSA relates to the structure and tone of the upper airway, upper airways surgeries are aimed at reducing the degree of obstruction in the nose, oropharynx, or hypopharynx. Anatomical features that may predispose to OSA include retroposition of the maxilla or mandible, enlarged pharyngeal fat pads, enlarged soft palate, enlarged tongue, narrow posterior airway space, and upper airway hypotonia.

    Phase I surgeries include nasal surgeries, palatal surgeries, and tongue-based surgeries that may initially alleviate and treat OSA. Phase II surgery, known as maxillomandibular advancement, is generally reserved for patients with major OSA due to velo-orohypopharyngeal airway obstruction that could not be resolved from phase I surgeries.2224

    Surgical success is frequently defined when the individual achieves a greater than 50% reduction of the AHI or an AHI of 20/h.25,26 However, this oft-used definition of success for OSA surgeries may not represent a clinical cure, so careful attention must be paid to endpoints used in studies of surgical treatments for OSA.27 Determination of surgical candidacy on a case-by-case basis, with attention to severity of OSA, presence/absence of obesity, and presence/absence of craniofacial features amenable to surgery, can help increase the likelihood of surgical success. Continuous weight management and optimal treatment of medical comorbidities is imperative to reduce postoperative worsening or recurrence of OSA.

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    Heres A Quick Look At The Cpap Alternatives:

    Winx Sleep Therapy System:

    How it works: Inserted into the mouth to provide a gentle suction that pulls the soft palate and tongue forward which keeps the throat more open for better breathing

    Recommended for: obstructive sleep apnea

    Proof it works: clinical trials

    Pros: no bulky mask or restraining headgear


    • requires you to be able to breathe through your nose without mouth breathing
    • sucks saliva into a canister that must be emptied in the morning
    • possible issues if you have loose teeth or gum disease

    Availability: manufacturer appears to have gone out of business

    Made by: ApniCure

    Airing Micro-CPAP:

    How it works: Will use positive air pressure to keep the throat more open and promote breathing during sleep. Device will be a disposable battery-operated nose implant that contains hundreds of micro-blowers to create airway pressure.

    Recommended for: obstructive and central sleep apnea

    Proof it works: under development

    Pros: compact, no mask, lightweight, and cordless

    Cons: too soon to know

    Availability: under development

    Beyond Cpap: Other Options For Sleep Apnea

    Evolution of New Devices in Sleep Apnea Treatments

    Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects over 18 million adults in the U.S., according to the National Sleep Foundation. The most common treatment recommended for this condition, which can range from mild to severe, is the CPAP machine. But because it can be bulky, loud, and uncomfortable to wear, most patients don’t stick with it.

    Depending on numerous factors, though, there are some alternative treatments to CPAP. Some are more convenient, while others are more invasive. But before exploring sleep apnea treatment options, it’s important to know the more about the condition itself.

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