The Oxygen Sleep Apnea connection is noteworthy.
Sleep apnoea (or sleep apnea in American English; English pronunciation: /æpˈniːə/) is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Similarly, each abnormally low breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or “sleep study”.
There are three forms of sleep apnea: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), and complex or mixed sleep apnea (i.e., a combination of central and obstructive) constituting 0.4%, 84% and 15% of cases respectively. In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of respiratory effort; in OSA, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.
Regardless of type, an individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening.
One example of a commonly adopted definition of an apnea (for an adult) includes a minimum 10 second interval between breaths, with either a neurological arousal (a 3-second or greater shift in EEG frequency, measured at C3, C4, O1, or O2) or a blood oxygen desaturation of 3–4% or greater, or both arousal and desaturation.
Treatment often starts with behavioral therapy. For mild cases of sleep apnea, physicians often recommend sleeping on one’s side, which can prevent the tongue and palate from falling backwards in the throat and blocking the airway. Many patients are told to avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives, which can relax throat muscles, contributing to the collapse of the airway at night.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) device, which ‘splints’ the patient’s airway open during sleep by means of a flow of pressurized air into the throat. The patient typically wears a plastic facial mask, which is connected by a flexible tube to a small bedside CPAP machine. The CPAP machine generates the required air pressure to keep the patient’s airways open during sleep. Advanced models may warm or humidify the air and monitor the patient’s breathing to ensure proper treatment. Although CPAP therapy is extremely effective in reducing apneas and less expensive than other treatments, some patients find it extremely uncomfortable. Many patients refuse to continue the therapy or fail to use their CPAP machines on a nightly basis.
The Winx system is ApniCure’s first product designed to offer a comfortable sleeping experience, allowing users to breathe naturally without a mask. Winx uses a proprietary platform technology called oral pressure therapy (OPT) to treat OSA. OPT is a light, oral vacuum delivered by a quiet console through a slim tube connected to a soft mouthpiece. The mouthpiece and vacuum work together to gently pull the soft palate forward and stabilize the tongue, increasing the size of the airway and allowing for natural breathing to occur during sleep.
Robert May 21st, 2012
Posted In: Oxygen Deficiency