Best Gadgets and Devices for Managing Sleep Apnea
Sleep troubles have become very common in people nowadays, mainly due to the increasing stress levels. The situation is far from ideal and needs to be managed, or soon we will all turn into a bunch of exhausted and tired individuals. One of the sleep disorders that has affected several people worldwide is sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea refers to a condition where pauses in inhaling and exhaling air result in wheezing and gasping noises. Thankfully, several gadgets and devices have been developed to date that can help manage this condition. To explore your options, dive into the following sections. Here you go!
What are some effective gadgets for managing sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that can keep you from resting well at night. It can make you dizzy and lead to other health complications. So, here is a list of some gadgets and devices that are available in the market which can effectively treat sleep apnea:
There are several mouth devices that you can find on the market for treating this sleep disorder. They need to be fitted by a dentist or orthodontist and must be worn in the mouth. You can either get them custom-made or buy them over the counter. Here are two popular mouth devices for your consideration:
- Mandibular advancement device (MAD): The device looks like a mouth guard that is worn by the players on the field. It snaps over your top and bottom jaw and helps you sleep better. MADs force your lower jaw in a forward position to keep your tongue and soft palate stable. Thus, it keeps your airway open and eases the inhaling and exhaling process.
- Tongue retaining devices: The tongue retaining device is not as popular as the mandibular advancement device and is less comfortable. It looks like a splint that holds your tongue in place and keeps your airway open. You may find it harder to get used to this device when you use it initially.
- Boil and bite products: These devices do not work as well as custom-made products. While the latter reduces the average number of apnea episodes per hour, boil and bite products are not very effective in this regard.
Many position pillows are specifically designed to assist patients suffering from sleep apnea. Available in different shapes, these pillows can be used with or without a CPAP machine. These include:
- Side sleeping pillow: The pillow makes resting on your side more comfortable. It is especially beneficial for those people who are used to sleeping on their back. Also, you can use it with height inserts for elevation.
- Wedge pillows: It has been revealed by observing sleep apnea patients that elevating your body up from your waist can keep the airway from collapsing. This promotes normal breathing in sleep apnea patients. For this purpose, foam wedge pillows are more useful than soft pillows.
- CPAP pillows: Patients using CPAP machines are recommended to try CPAP pillows. They have contours that allow people to rest comfortably in their CPAP masks. The pillow’s shape is suitable for front, back, and side sleepers and enables you to alter your position in sleep easily.
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Many people suffering from sleep apnea disorder face problems in breathing because of resting on their backs. This sleep position is not recommended as it makes your tongue and soft palate rest against the back of your throat, which can block the airway. Thus, patients with this condition are advised to lie on their side.
But, if you are one of those people who are in the habit of turning on their back when asleep, then you must try the tennis ball remedy. It involves tying or sewing a ball at the back of your pyjamas so you would feel a sharp discomfort as soon as you turn on your back. It will prevent you from sleeping on your back.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is one of the most popular treatment options for sleep apnea patients. The device features a nasal or facial mask through which a pressurized stream of air is delivered to the nose. It pushes against the blockages and keeps your airway open.
Over the years, the CPAP machines have been modernized to become smaller, quieter, and much larger. Although all these machines have the same essential components, you can choose a comfortable mask for you from nasal pillow masks, full masks, and nasal masks.
Hypoglossal nerve stimulation
A small stimulatory device is surgically implanted in your chest in this type of treatment. It decreases the number of sleep apnea episodes by electrically stimulating the hypoglossal nerve from the chest to the tongue. Available in the size of a pacemaker, the gadget can be turned on and off using a remote. It monitors your breathing pattern and signals the nerves responsible for controlling your tongue and other muscles. The machine pushes forward your tongue from the rear of the throat and keeps the airway open throughout the night.
Sleep apnea is a condition that can disrupt your rest. Thus, ensuring the best possible treatment for this problem is necessary. Using devices like CPAP machines, position pillows, mouth devices, tennis balls, or hypoglossal nerve stimulators, you can treat this condition and catch on a good night’s rest. However, sleep apnea patients are recommended to talk to their doctors before opting for these treatments for ensuring their safety.
Disclaimer: The facts and information contained in this article are obtained from reputed medical research organizations and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & beliefs of ResMed. The solutions mentioned above are only suggestive remedies for treating sleep problems and should not be taken as medical advice. The content is meant only for informational purposes. So, the readers are advised to practice caution and consult a healthcare professional before pursuing any solution.