Scientists from Inspire Medical Systems, will soon be testing a new treatment. A device much like a pacemaker would send gentle electrical burst to the tongues of people who endure sleep-apnea. The bursts will be sent to the tongue while the person sleeps and could be essential for them to get a full nights sleep.
Researchers are hoping that by the end of January 2011, they will enroll 100 United States and European patients whose condition is caused by slack tongue. Two other companies will also begin alike tests.
A common cause of obstructive sleep-apnea is a mix of slack tongue and relaxed throat muscles. Breathing can become obstructed for as long as 30 seconds and occur as much as 30 times in one hour. People with this condition may be generally unaware they have it other than symptoms of not feeling rested in morning or abruptly waking up gasping for air.
The tongue is a muscle and the pacemaker idea is to control the tongue by giving it gentle electrical shocks to stop it from relaxing and blocking the airway.
Physicians implant this device under the skin near the collarbone and wire it to a nerve located in the tongue. It will be able to sense when a person draws a breath which sets off the zap.
This new method is at the beginning stages and could prove to more effective than CPAP, the current standard treatment in which a mask is worn at bedtime which blows air through the nose to maintain open airways. Many people with apnea do not like this treatment due to being uncomfortable and the feeling of claustrophobic.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that 12 million Americans endure sleep-apnea. Untreated sleep-apnea can lead to:
Heightened risks of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes.
Increases the risk of heart failure or make it more severe.
Greater chance of heart arrhythmia’s (irregular heartbeats)
Adds to the chances of work associated or driving accidents.
Signs of sleep-apnea include:
Loud and chronic snoring, pauses can occur while snoring, chocking and gasping may follow the pause.
Dry throat upon wakening
Irritability, depression, mood swings
Children can also have sleep-apnea and associated symptoms from it such as bed wetting, hyperactivity, breathing through mouth instead of nose.
Besides the standard conventional treatments of mouth pieces and breathing devices, there are some alternatives in which may help.
In numerous cases sleep-apnea is due to a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the stomach pushes up into the esophagus and affects breathing while sleeping.
Spinal adjustments for the hiatal hernia have been found effective to relieve sleep-apnea.
A recent study done has revealed acupuncture treatments provide immediate effects in decreasing sleep disturbances.
Both manual acupuncture and electrical stimulation acupuncture has been found effective.
Tia Chi can be greatly beneficial for the natural sleep cycle. People who have used Tia Chi have noted sleep improvements including those who endure insomnia and sleep-apnea.Sources:
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Best Pittsburgh Chiropractic
Tia Chi Bellevue