Don’t Let Untreated Sleep Apnea Ruin Your Health and Quality of Life

what is obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This happens when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the upper airway during sleep. As a result, the reduced or complete stoppage of airflow can occur for tens of seconds before normal breathing resumes typically with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk.

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • Chronic snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep, known as insomnia
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, known as hypersomnia
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability

Complications Arising from Untreated Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a multitude of serious health complications. Hypertension and heart disease are common fallout due to the sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea episodes. These abrupt changes increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system.

Moreover, people with obstructive sleep apnea are also more likely to suffer from recurrent heart attacks and abnormal heartbeats such as atrial fibrillation.

symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

Frequent awakening during sleep is characteristic of sleep apnea, which results in experiencing daytime fatigue. People suffering often complain of feeling constantly tired, being unable to concentrate, and experiencing mood changes, such as irritability and depression.

Not to mention, the chronic sleep deprivation brought on by sleep apnea can also lead to poor performance in everyday activities, which might result in complications at work or school, and even increase the risk of accidents.

Additionally, sleep apnea can exacerbate metabolic syndromes including diabetes due to insulin resistance that is linked to sleep deprivation and sleep fragmentation. Untreated sleep apnea also provokes liver problems.

Studies have shown that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition where the liver has trouble breaking down fats, is more prevalent in people with sleep apnea. Furthermore, the risk of complications related to general anesthesia and surgery is also markedly higher among individuals grappling with sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Oxygen Mask Equipment And Cpap Machine

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

The successful management of sleep apnea revolves around a variety of comprehensive treatment options that are designed to help reduce symptoms and improve sleep quality. These may include lifestyle modifications, including changes to the patient’s normal habits such as physical activity, diet, and alcohol use.

Oral Appliances for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

oral treatment for OSA

Oral appliances are devices put in the mouth to help keep a person’s airway open as they sleep.

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) is proven to be the most efficient intraoral device for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A mandibular advancement device (MAD) connects to both the upper and lower teeth in order to advance or move the jaw forward. Sometimes called mandibular advancement splints (MAS), or a mandibular protrusion device.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Machines

treatment of Obstructive sleep apnea

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine is a device that delivers continuous pressurized air through tubing into a mask that you wear while you sleep. CPAP machine maintains the gentle flow of pressurized air into your nose or mouth to keep your airway open while you sleep.

Benefits of CPAP Devices

CPAP devices help prevent breathing interruptions caused by sleep apnea. These devices also eliminate harmful sleep apnea side effects. Notable CPAP machine benefits include:

  • Improved sleep quality.
  • Lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • A reduction in daytime sleepiness.
  • Possible improved sugar management in people with diabetes.

Side Effects of CPAP Devices

It may take time for you to become accustomed to your CPAP machine. Some people find them cumbersome, frustrating, or uncomfortable. Drawbacks include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep (insomnia).
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Require regular cleaning and disinfection
  • Must be plugged into an electric outlet or have a battery backup
  • Difficult to travel with
The eXciteOSA mouthpiece

Surgical Options to Treat OSA

There are different surgeries available to treat OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). The best surgery for you depends on how severe your OSA is and your body structure.

Some common surgeries for OSA are:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): Removes extra tissue from the soft palate and throat that might block the airway during sleep.
  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy: Removes tonsils and adenoids that can narrow the airway and cause OSA.
  • Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA): Moves the upper and lower jaws forward to widen the airway and improve breathing while asleep.
  • Tracheostomy: Makes an opening in the neck for a tube to keep the airway open. It’s used as a last option for severe OSA cases not helped by other treatments.

These surgeries are reasonablysafe and work well. But, they come with risks like infection, bleeding, pain, long recovery times, and permanent scarring of the airway.

Implantable Devices for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A sleep apnea implant is a device that helps you breathe during sleep by stimulating the muscles in the throat to keep them open during sleep. This helps to prevent the airway from collapsing and causing breathing pauses.

It’s also called a hypoglossal nerve stimulator or upper airway stimulation device. “Hypoglossal” means “under the tongue.” A hypoglossal nerve stimulation device sends a gentle electric pulse to a branch of the hypoglossal nerve. This causes the tongue to move forward, opening the airway with each breath

You might be a suitable candidate for HNS (hypoglossal nerve stimulation) implantation if:

  • You have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
  • You can’t use CPAP consistently or don’t get much benefit from it.
  • You’re not very overweight.
  • You’re 18 years old or older.
treating OSA

Benefits of implantable medical devices for OSA

  • Highly effective in treating OSA.
  • Suitable for individuals unable or unwilling to use CPAP.
  • Applicable for those with medical conditions complicating CPAP use.
  • Generally safe with few side effects.

Risks of implantable medical devices for OSA

  • Involves minor surgery for implantation
  • Potential risk of device malfunction
  • Can be costly

Aura 6000

Aura 6000 treats obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by delivering mild stimulation to the tongue during sleep, hence significantly reducing or eliminating sleep apnea events. The aura6000 system is totally implanted, which means that there are no masks, hoses, mouthpieces, or anything else connected to the patient during sleep.

There is not a lot of data on its long-term effectiveness. However, the available data suggests it is a safe and effective treatment for OSA.

Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation System

The Inspire implant is the only FDA-approved OSA therapy that works comfortably inside your body to treat the root cause of sleep apnea, so you can breathe regularly and sleep soundly.

Through a simple-to-use system including the Inspire implant, remote, and app, Inspire therapy enables you to control your OSA treatment from the palm of your hand.

The system is comprised of implantable components – a stimulation lead that delivers mild electrical impulses to the hypoglossal nerve, a breathing sensor lead that senses breathing patterns and synchronizes stimulation with breathing, and an implantable pulse generator that monitors breathing patterns.

The Inspire stands out as clinically superior among other HNSs (hypoglossal nerve stimulators) for treating OSA due to several advanced features:

  • Enhanced stimulator power enables more effective treatment.
  • Comfortable design for easier patient wearability.
  • Wireless remote control grants patients the ability to manage the device, adjust settings, turn it on/off, and track treatment progress.

Multiple clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Inspire in treating OSA:

One study outperformed CPAP therapy in reducing the frequency of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep.

Another study showcased its superior effectiveness compared to oral appliances in reducing the occurrences of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep.

Verdict

Although some intraoral devices work well for mild to moderate cases of OSA, Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulators are revolutionizing the market for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. They provide relief similar to the widely accepted “gold standard” treatment, CPAP, without the need for a mask, hoses, hassle, or potential feelings of embarrassment.

Conclusion

Sleep apnea is a common medical condition that causes pauses in breathing while sleeping. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common. Untreated sleep apnea can result in major health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and even death.

Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, usually using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, is the first line of treatment for OSA. Other sleep apnea devices, in addition to CPAP machines, include BiPAP machines, AutoPAP machines, positional therapy, oral appliances, and implant systems. Surgery may be a possibility in some circumstances.

If you have a CPAP machine, it’s important to use it every night to reduce your risk of sleep apnea-related health complications. If your sleep apnea symptoms persist despite regular use, you may need a new mask, a different device, or a second titration study to determine your optimal air pressure level.

Exercise, healthy sleep habits, weight loss, stress management, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol use can also help prevent and treat sleep apnea symptoms.

References

  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/obstructive-sleep-apnea/hypoglossal-nerve-stimulation
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631#:~:text=Having%20sleep%20apnea%20increases%20your,higher%20risk%20of%20heart%20disease.
  • https://www.verywellhealth.com/sleep-apnea-devices-5217216
  • https://www.health.com/sleep-apnea-devices-7561256
  • https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/sleep-apnea-gadgets
  • https://www.inspiresleep.com/
  • Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    🤞 Don’t miss these tips!

    Sign up for newsletters and alerts to receive breaking news and in-depth coverage of patient medical devices, as they happen, right to your inbox.

    We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy

  • Write a Review

    Your reviews will help patents choose the best medical device.

    0.0
    0.0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
    Excellent0%
    Very good0%
    Average0%
    Poor0%
    Terrible0%

    Filter Reviews by Keyword from the Search Box Below

    There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

    Related Medical Device Reviews

    Scroll to Top