Sleep apnea devices – Know the latest innovations in medical technology that can help you sleep better.

Sleep apnea devices - Know the latest innovations in medical technology that can help you sleep better.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep. These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to several minutes, and can occur several times throughout the night. If not, sleep apnea can have serious consequences for health and general wel l-being. Fortunately, there are several devices that help control and relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea.

One of the most used is the continuous positive pressure machine in the respiratory tract (CPAP). This device works by supplying a constant flow of air under pressure through a mask that covers the nose and sometimes the mouth. The positive pressure on the airways helps to keep them open and avoid the collapse of the upper respiratory tract, something frequent in people with sleep apnea. CPAP machines are very effective and have significantly reduce the number of breathing interruptions during sleep.

Another device often used in the treatment of sleep apnea is the mandibular progress device (DAM). This mouthpiece is specifically designed to keep the lower jaw and the tongue forward, thus maintaining the airways. The DAM are tailored by dental professionals and are carried during sleep. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea in people with mild or moderate cases of this disorder.

Devices for Sleep Apnea

Continuous positive pressure machines on respiratory tract (CPAP) are one of the most prescribed devices for sleep apnea. This device supplies a constant flow of pressurized air through a mask that is placed on the nose or mouth. The air pressure keeps the airways open, avoiding the episodes of apnea and snoring. CPAP machines are available in various sizes and models, and offer different functions to adapt to individual preferences and needs. Some models even include humidifiers to add moisture to the air and reduce dryness and nasal discomfort.

  • Positive pressure machines Binivel in the respiratory tract (BIPAP) are another type of device used for sleep apnea. Like CPAP machines, BiPap machines supply pressure air to keep the airways open, but offer different pressure settings for inhalation and exhalation. This feature can be beneficial for people who have difficulty exhaling against the constant pressure of a CPAP machine.
Main features of CPAP machines Main features of BiPAP machines
  1. Constant air pressure
  2. Available in various sizes and models
  3. Humidification option
  1. Different pressure settings for inhalation and exhalation
  2. Effective for people with difficulty exhaling with constant pressure
  3. Available in various sizes and models

Oral appliances are an alternative option for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. These custom-made devices resemble sports mouthguards and are worn during sleep to reposition the jaw and tongue, helping to keep the airway open. Oral appliances are suitable for people who find CPAP or BiPAP machines uncomfortable or uncomfortable. However, it is important to note that oral appliances may not be as effective as CPAP or BiPAP machines in severe cases of sleep apnea.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex sleep apnea syndrome (SACS). OSA is the most common form, accounting for approximately 84% of all sleep apnea cases. It occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and block the airways, causing difficulty breathing. CSA is less common and occurs when the brain does not send the right signals to the muscles responsible for controlling breathing. CompSAS, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, is a combination of OSA and CSA.

Important note: Sleep apnea affects people of all ages, including children. However, it is more common in men, people who are overweight or obese, and people over 40 years of age. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, it is important to seek a medical evaluation and diagnosis.

  • Common symptoms of sleep apnea:
    • Loud or chronic snoring
    • Episodes of stopping breathing during sleep
    • Gasping or choking during sleep
    • Excessive daytime sleepiness
    • Difficulty concentrating and irritability
    • Morning headaches
    • Decreased libido
  1. Diagnosis:
  2. Diagnosing sleep apnea usually involves a sleep study, also known as polysomnography. This test monitors various physiological parameters during sleep, such as brain activity, eye and muscle movements, heart rate, and breathing patterns. It helps assess the severity of the condition and determine appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy: CPAP therapy is considered the gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask over your nose or nose and mouth while sleeping. The mask is connected to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of pressurized air that helps keep the airways open and prevents interruptions in breathing. CPAP therapy is very effective in relieving sleep apnea symptoms and improving overall sleep quality.

Benefits of CPAP Therapy:

  • Reduces snoring
  • Improves alertness during the day
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces daytime sleepiness

Oral appliance therapy: An alternative to CPAP therapy is the use of oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. These appliances are custom-made and fit over your teeth, similar to a mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. They work by repositioning the jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open during sleep. Treatment with oral appliances is especially recommended for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea or who cannot tolerate CPAP treatment.

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy:

  1. Comfortable and easy to wear
  2. Portable and convenient for travel
  3. Non-invasive
  4. No noise or electrical components
  5. No power supply required

Types of Devices for Sleep Apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines: One of the most common and effective treatments for sleep apnea is the use of CPAP machines. These devices deliver a continuous flow of air through a mask that fits over the nose or mouth. Air pressure helps keep the airways open, preventing the collapse that causes apnea episodes.

Important information:

  • CPAP machines are typically prescribed for moderate to severe sleep apnea.
  • The air pressure can be adjusted to the needs of each person.
  • Regular use of a CPAP machine can significantly reduce symptoms and improve sleep quality.

Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines: BiPAP machines are similar to CPAP machines, but they deliver two levels of air pressure: a higher pressure when the person inhales and a lower pressure when they exhale. This can be beneficial for people who have difficulty exhaling with the constant pressure of a CPAP machine.

  1. BiPAP machines are often recommended for people with certain medical conditions, such as heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  2. Some BIPAP machines also offer additional functions, such as a respiration synchronization function that adjusts the time of inhalation and exhalation to improve comfort.

These devices are just some examples of the types of devices available to treat sleep apnea. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine which is the most appropriate device for the specific needs and disorder of each person.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Devices

CPAP are the acronym in English pressure on the respiratory tract, which refers to the constant air pressure provided by the device to keep the airways open during sleep. The pressure air is supplied through a mask that covers the nose and/or mouth, guaranteeing that the airways remain clear throughout the night. CPAP devices are usually prescribed by sleep specialists after diagnosing sleep apnea through a sleep study. They are available in several models and sizes, which allows them to customize them depending on individual needs and preferences.

CPAP devices work by pumping air at a pressure superior to atmospheric in the throat of a person with sleep apnea. This action keeps the airways open, preventing them from collapsing during sleep and allowing breathing without obstructions.

  1. CPAP devices consist of three main components: an engine that generates pressure air, a hose that carries the engine of the engine to the mask and the mask that is placed on the nose, mouth or both.
  2. The CPAP device engine is responsible for generating the appropriate air pressure necessary to keep the airways open. It usually includes a fan that aspires air and a compressor that pressurizes the air before sending it to the mask.
  3. The hose connects the engine to the mask and allows the pressurized air. It is usually flexible and light to facilitate its use and comfort.
Advantages of CPAP devices: Disadvantages of CPAP devices:
  • Effective in the treatment of sleep apnea
  • Improves sleep quality and alertness during the day
  • Reduces the risk of associated health problems
  • Initial discomfort and adaptation period
  • Noise generated by the engine
  • Periodic maintenance and parts replacement

In general, CPAP devices constitute a no n-invasive and very effective treatment option for people with sleep apnea. Although they may require some initial adaptation, the benefits they offer in terms of improving sleep quality and health in general make them a valuable tool for the treatment of this condition.

Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea

1. FUNCTION AND MECHANISM:

  1. The mouthpieces for sleep apnea are specifically designed devices that are taken in the mouth while sleeping. They work repositioning the jaw and tongue to keep the airways open and prevent them from collapsing. By maintaining proper air flow, these devices effectively reduce respiratory breaks and improve sleep quality.
  2. One of the most commonly used mouthpieces is the mandibular progress device (DAM). It consists of two separate trays that are placed on the upper and lower teeth and connect by adjustable hinges. By advancing the lower jaw, the DAM helps expand the space of the back of the throat, avoiding the obstruction of the respiratory tract.

The oral devices for sleep apnea reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airways open and improve air flow during sleep.

The mandibular advance device (DAM) is a very popular oral apparatus that advances the lower jaw to avoid the obstruction of the respiratory tract.

2. Advantages and considerations:

  • Compared to CPAP machines, oral devices offer several advantages. They are smaller, laptops and easy to use, which makes them a more comfortable option to travel or use away from home. In addition, oral devices do not require a power supply, which makes them a viable alternative for people who do not have access to electricity.
  • In addition, oral devices are known for their best compliance indices, since they are usually more comfortable to carry. Many patients find it easier to adapt to carry a oral apparatus throughout the night than the mask and harness associated with CPAP therapy.

Oral devices are smaller, laptops and easy to use than CPAP machines, which makes them a comfortable option, especially for traveling. They do not require a power supply, which allows greater accessibility.

Patients often find the most comfortable oral devices to use, resulting in better compliance rates compared to CPAP therapy.

3. Effectiveness and suitability:

  1. Early devices have proven effective in the treatment of mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea. They can also be used as a complementary therapy in severe cases, especially in people who do not tolerate CPAP treatment.
  2. It is important to note that the effectiveness of mouthparts can vary depending on factors such as the anatomical characteristics of the individual and the severity of their sleep apnea. Therefore, it is crucial that patients undergo an exhaustive evaluation by a sleep specialist to determine the most appropriate treatment option for their specific condition.

Oral devices are effective in treating mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea and can be used together with CPAP therapy in severe cases.

It is necessary that a sleep specialist perform an individual evaluation to determine the most appropriate treatment option based on the patient’s anatomical characteristics and the severity of his sleep apnea.

Surgery for the Treatment of Sleep Apnea

There are different surgical procedures to treat sleep apnea, each of them aimed at specific areas of superior respiratory tract. A usual surgical approach is the uvulopalathopharyblinglastia (UPPP), whose objective is to remove excess throat tissue, including the tonsils, the uvula and part of the soft palate. This procedure can help widen the respiratory tract and reduce the frequency of obstructive episodes. It is usually recommended to patients with narrow or crowded oropharynx.

  • Uvulopalathopharyngoplasty (UPPP): Surgical procedure that eliminates excess tissue in the throat, such as tonsils, uvula and part of the soft palate. Its objective is to widen the airways and reduce obstructions.
  • Mandibular advance surgery: This surgery consists in moving the lower jaw forward to expand the space behind the tongue and reduce the obstruction of the respiratory tract.
  • Genioglysed advance surgery: This procedure displaces the muscles of the tongue forward, creating more space in the pharynx and reducing the collapse of the respiratory tract during sleep.
  1. Reduction of the lingual base: Surgery directed to the base of the tongue to reduce its size and avoid obstructing the respiratory tract during sleep.
  2. Nasal surgery: procedures such as turbinectomy or septoplasty can treat nasal obstructions that contribute to sleep apnea.
Surgical procedure Target zone Aim
UPPP Throat Expand the airways, reduce obstructions
Mandibular advance surgery Lower jaw Expand the space behind the tongue
Genioglysed advance Lingual muscles Create more space in the pharynx

Surgery can be a viable option for the treatment of sleep apnea in certain cases. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate therapeutic approach based on individual factors and the severity of the disorder. Surgery should be considered the last resort, when other no n-invasive methods have not been successful or the underlying cause of sleep apnea is anatomical.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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