Breathing With a Mask – Sleep Apnea Technology

Sleep. A necessity hard to perform when you suffer with moderate to severe obstructive sleep Apnea. Technology provides ways to help the obstruction from happening.

For example, Upper Airway Stimulation – Systems are designed to improve patient care, easily implantable, and pressure sensitive.  As we advance, procedures like implanting become more mainstream. Manufactured devices consist of implantable pulse generators, stimulation and sensing leads and external component composed of a physician programmer and a patient programmer (sleep remote), like a pacemaker.

For additional information and contraindication go to FDA website.

Such devices maintain an open airway using mild stimulation of Hypoglossal Nerve based on the detection of the patient’s breathing movements. The hypoglossal nerve is responsible for tongue movement while inhaling. The physicians set the stimulation settings while the patient’s sleep remote allows the patient to turn therapy on. All this happens before the patience goes to sleep.

New devices for sleep apnea like the “Inspire Upper Airway” stimulation was tested on 126 patients in 22 different places and more than half of patients experienced significant reductions in Apnea indexes after 12 months. Since it is a new device, larger studies need to be conducted. Cpap (Continuous positive airway pressure) and still remains as Physician’s preferred choice. Some people find it difficult to get used to machine’s breathing pattern and might experience discomfort. Cpap is a pressure machine which deliver air to patient’s lungs at firmly set pressures.

Whether Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation is for you, check with your physicians. For additional information and contraindication go to FDA website.

*This device is based on Hypoglossal nerve stimulation. The same nerve responsible for Tongue movement, therefore keeping your throat open during breathing. It also learns your breathing patterns and intervenes when necessary. It’s only been approved for obstructive sleep apnea. Cpap is still SOC for OSA.

For more information about Sleep Apnea, please visit the Mayo Clinic resource Center

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