Norfolk, VA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/07/2014 -- New developments in sleep research help a growing number of sleep-deprived snorers treat a condition called severe sleep apnea, but with a twist: most sleep apnea treatments involve CPAP or oral surgery, but these alternative sleep apnea treatments are research-based compilations of simple lifestyle tweaks and natural sleep hacks that significantly lower the probability of obstructive sleep apnea from developing in the first place.
Why the need for an effective sleep apnea treatment without CPAP ?
Despite its popularity with sleep specialists, the evidence is that CPAP therapy does not suit everyone; many people choose to discontinue treatment despite the high efficacy rate of CPAP. Why? The majority of patient complaints cite ill-fitting CPAP masks, allergic reactions to the masks, inconvenience and machine upkeep, or users simply find this therapy option too expensive and not a worthwhile return on their investment.
Dr. John Ronald, a leading researcher at St. Boniface General Hospital Research Center and University of Manitoba, reports that a growing number of people with sleep disorders go undiagnosed; worse, patients are mistakenly misdiagnosed as insomniacs and prescribed sleeping pills, or they accept their daily tiredness as a normal state of life.
Now there are CPAP alternative options offering relief for sleep apnea sufferers.
Heather Larson is one former sleep apnea sufferer who chose an alternative to CPAP, and stuck with it. She now awakens each morning happy and enthusiastic – starting her day with a brisk walk and a little gardening. But Larson did not always have this much energy.
“I would wake up groggy. It would take me an hour or so to wake up,” said Larson.
And she wasn’t the only one suffering.
“My husband started complaining that I was snoring,” she said.
Doctors diagnosed Larson with sleep apnea. Like most patients, she was told to wear one of the CPAP masks for women to bed every night. The problem? It was bulkier than using a chin strap for sleep apnea. And the mask was not very attractive.
“I couldn’t really handle it. It’s too much,” Larson said.
She is not alone in her criticisms. More than half of all patients stop CPAP treatment because they find the mask cumbersome. Going without treatment can put them at risk for several dangerous diseases and complications.
In addition to the known health problems caused by lack of sleep, research suggests that too little sleep causes hormone changes that might lead to obesity. 924 people, 18 to 91 years of age were divided into four groups: normal weight, overweight, obese, and extremely obese. The researchers compared body mass to total sleep time and concluded that the less people slept, the heavier they tended to be (except in the extremely obese group.)
Oral Device Holds Tongue, Allows Breath
Dr. Ronald had better options for Larson. In addition to diet and exercise, Larson was encouraged to try a non-invasive oral device and natural sleep aids before considering surgery to cure sleep apnea.
In sleep apnea, muscles in the throat relax and cause the airway to collapse. As a result, patients can stop breathing periodically. “As they struggle for breath, their blood pressure soars…This rise in blood pressure damages the inner walls of the carotid arteries lining the sides of the neck,” he added. “Cholesterol and calcium stick to the injury sites and amass into calcified plaques, which block blood flow to the brain. The result is often a massive stroke.”?
With the tongue displacement device, suction holds the tongue away from the throat and therefore maintains an open airway during inhalation.
The tongue / oral device study results showed 72 percent of patients had more than a 50 percent reduction in AHI (apnea hypopnea index), which is the number of times per hour they stopped breathing at night. Snoring was reduced by 65 percent. And more than 88 percent of patients reported wearing the device all night.
There is no mask, tubes or machines – just a small suction on the tongue that Larson puts on each night for a quiet, comfortable sleep. She reports that this has made a huge difference to her quality of sleep and she can enjoy more time with her husband during the day and at night.
A Fix for CPAP?
For those who choose to CPAP treatment for sleep apnea, Dr. Ronald suggests these Simple Fixes to Common CPAP Problems to help them rest comfortably with the CPAP mask and machine.
Simple lifestyle changes, home remedies and treatments — from dental devices to the “snore ball” and positional sleeping — are low-risk and highly likely to benefit the patient ahead of surgery and without CPAP.
With today’s prevalence of sleep-deprived workers and misdiagnosed conditions, the more accessible and easy-to-implement the treatment, the more likely people are to follow-through with their successful treatment. Focusing on alternative cures for sleep apnea without CPAP , new sleep studies provide much needed information and sleep aid techniques for people suffering from mild to severe sleep apnea syndrome and help people at all points on the spectrum to sleep better.
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