A device that may reduce sleep apnea

London, Jan 9 : Here comes a device for patients suffering from sleep apnea that can reduce the severity by 70 percent.

"Implantation of a sleep apnea device called 'Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation' (UAS) can lead to significant improvements for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)," said a new study.

After one year, patients using the device had an approximately 70 percent reduction in sleep apnea severity, as well as significant reductions in daytime sleepiness, added the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

There are nearly 62 million adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea in India. Majority of them are undiagnosed and remain untreated.

"The UAS therapy differs from other traditional sleep apnea devices by targeting the muscle tone of the throat rather than just the anatomy," said Ryan Soose, director of the University of Pittsburgh's division of sleep surgery.

"Two thirds of patients using the 'Inspire UAS' therapy device had successful control of OSA although even more reported improvement in snoring, daytime sleepiness and quality of life measures," he added.

Other treatments for OSA include weight loss, upper airway surgeries, oral appliances and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is considered the primary treatment for OSA.

"While CPAP is a successful treatment, as many as half of the patients are unable to use it regularly owing to discomfort with the mask and/or the lack of desire to be tethered to a machine," said Patrick Strollo, professor of medicine and medical director at University of Pittsburgh's Sleep Medicine Centre.

The results of this trial show a huge potential for a new and effective treatment that can help millions of patients, he added.

OSA is characterised by repeated episodes of upper airway collapse during sleep, due to narrowing or blockage.

Patients with OSA stop breathing, known as apnea, frequently during sleep, often for a minute or longer, and over half of those with OSA are overweight.

Repeated episodes of apnea can lead to daytime fatigue, and increase a person's risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and even death.

--IANS (Posted on 09-01-2014)

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