New study offers new hope for sleep apnea suffers

Published On: Jan 08 2014 03:48:41 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 08 2014 05:00:00 PM EST

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, is a way to decrease the risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea.  But for varying reasons, it's not for everyone. A new study finds Upper-Airway Stimulation can also decrease the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.

"The severity of the disease significantly decreased. They also found that the sleepiness scores, as reported by the patients improved with this therapy," explained Dr. Harneet Walia, who did not take part in the study but treats obstructive sleep apnea at Cleveland Clinic.

The Upper-Airway Stimulation device is implanted in the chest. It is designed to keep the tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway during sleep.

University of Pittsburgh researchers studied its effects on 126 people, 83% of them were men.  They found Upper-Airway Stimulation significantly improved breathing, reduced the effects of sleep apnea, and improved quality of life.

Researchers think it can provide benefit to people with obstructed sleep apnea who have difficulty either accepting or adhering to CPAP therapy.

Walia says the results are promising because obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition.

"This is associated with a variety of cardiovascular consequences, that is increased risk of arrhythmias, increased risk of stroke, increased risk of heart attacks," said Walia.

Complete findingss for this study are in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus