For people who are diagnosed with sleep apnea, sleeping is never a relaxing time. In fact, individuals with this disease commonly wake up in a wave of panic and are overtaken by a feeling of dread. One of the most common effects of sleep apnea is experiencing fatigue throughout the day. How do people diagnosed with this terrible sleeping disorder feel energetic when their nights are filled with disruption? Well, usually they don’t feel much liveliness at all. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea can even lead to low blood oxygen levels. This can also result in a series of other illnesses like heart diseases, hypertension, mood disorders, and memory problems. Surely, people experiencing this will not only have disturbed sleep, but they will also have to deal with the possibility of getting another disease. A recent statistic was conducted by the American Sleep Apnea Association, and they found out that there are over 22 million Americans who are affected by this disease. Thus, many studies were focused on how to eliminate this condition. Lately, a new technology was discovered, and the results were promising. Here are a few things to know about this latest discovery:
How It Started: The Andrea Turner Case
Like any other person diagnosed with this disease, Andrea Turner made a lot of gasping sounds when she sleeps. According to her daughter, it seems like she was having difficulty in breathing. This was even noticeable when she and her daughter were on vacation. Since they were spending a lot of time together, her daughter was able to observe her sleeping pattern clearly. This prompted the family to send Tuner to Stanford University. There, she spent several hours sleeping as researchers studied her sleep cycle. The studies ranged from checking Turner’s breathing to studying her brainwaves. As the studies went on, the doctors and the family were surprised to see her results. Turner then underwent to a new technological procedure known as “Inspire”.
The New Technological Method for Sleep Apnea
Instead of following the same method, a team of doctors discovered a new and improved way to tackle sleep apnea. Today, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is commonly used, but it’s been found out that this doesn’t lower the probability of developing heart failures although it can improve a patient’s sleep. This paved to a new procedure called INSPIRE. As stated by the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation, this a method in which a sleeping person is monitored through his breathing. In this way, if there is a blockage in the airway, the disruption is ceased by controlling the hypoglossal nerve – the nerve which is responsible for the movements of the tongue. Thus, the stimulation of the muscles will prevent blocking from occurring. Since its discovery, “Inspired” has been constantly applied. Now, several witnesses stated that this kind of therapy is much effective. In fact, there is a 78% decrease in the number sleep apnea cases happening per hour. However, this therapy can’t accommodate all diagnosed patients. There are particular requirements:
Candidates for Inspire Therapy
This therapy is invasive. To those who are not into surgical procedures, this therapy will not work on you. Its cost runs around $20,000, plus an additional fee for the surgery is needed. It is only applicable to certain patients; here are the requirements:
- A patient should be over 22 years old.
- A patient must be diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The severity of the case must be from moderate to extreme.
- A patient must have a history of using the CPAP method. The patient will only resort to Inspire when CPAP doesn’t work for him or her.
- A patient must not be overweight.
As what Dr. Kothare from the NYU Langone Medical Center advised, it is important to consider these requirements. Not being cautious will lead to regrets since Inspire therapy can be really expensive. It is also risky as surgery is conducted, and the potential of the mechanism to fail is high. However, if you are a willing participant and are qualified, you can proceed with this procedure. You will only experience a little side effect; when waking up, you will have a sore tongue, but that’s about it.
Important Things to Know about Sleep Apnea
- Sleep apnea can increase the probability of getting heart attacks and strokes. If you are diagnosed, you are four times prone to getting these illnesses.
- This is commonly observed in men who are overweight than women. However, females are much susceptible to poor heart health than the males.
- Sleep apnea happens when the airway is blocked, thus cutting the flow of air into the lungs.
- Sleep apnea drops a significant amount of oxygen. Constant exposure will lead to heart failure.
The symptoms of sleep apnea as mentioned by the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute include:
- Severe headaches in the morning
- Frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate
- A sore throat or a dry mouth when waking up
- Hazy memory and the inability to concentrate
- Constant mood shifting. You will mostly feel depressed or irritated
Most often, a major sign that a person has sleep apnea is that a loud and constant degree of snoring is observed. There may also be choking, gasping, and pauses occurring in the middle of the snoring. What’s unfortunate is that people sleeping alone can’t tell how severe their sleeping becomes. Usually, this will only be noticed by a family member who’s sleeping next to the sufferer. Another strong evidence of sleep apnea is when you can find the sufferer constantly fighting off drowsiness. Usually, diagnosed people will doze off the moment they get comfortable.
Other Effective Treatments for Sleep Apnea
The Sleep Health Foundation believes in other treatment options. Each person has their own unique treatment plan because their underlying causes vary from one another. Most often, their treatment plans are included in the list below:
Treatment 1: Losing Weight: It may not be a direct cure for sleep apnea, but losing weight can significantly minimize the severe snoring and can even help in making other treatments successful. Other than this, it makes anyone generally healthy.
Treatment 2: Reducing Alcohol Intake: Because alcohol relaxes the muscles, it can worsen a person’s snoring. Reducing the consumption of alcohol may not only save your liver, but it also helps lessen sleep apnea. However, it is advisable for people diagnosed with sleep apnea to totally stop the alcohol binge altogether.
Treatment 3: Positioning of the Body: A lot of benefits can be taken from your position in sleeping; one of these is reducing your sleep apnea. Stop sleeping on your back since the tongue is more likely to block your airway in this type of position. You can practice sleeping on your sides. If it’s hard, try inserting an object in your back pockets. The bulge of the object in your shorts will be a discomfort when you lie on your backs.
Treatment 4: Eliminating Nose Blockage: When you have a blocked nose, you will likely breathe using your mouth. Breathing through the mouth can lead to heavy snoring and can eventually lead to your tongue blocking the air passage. Nose blocks are caused by varied reasons. Find an instant cure for your congested nose by taking medicine or applying nasal sprays.
- Today, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is commonly used, but it’s been found out that this doesn’t lower the probability of developing heart failures although it can improve a patient’s sleep.
- With a new procedure called INSPIRE, a sleeping person is monitored through his breathing.
- Each person has his or her own unique treatment plan, because the underlying causes vary from one another.