10. August 2011 09:22
A nighttime-breathing machine and a mouthpiece intended to be worn at night have both been shown to be effective in combatting sleep apnea.
The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine pumps air through a mask while the patient is asleep. The mask pushes a steady stream of air through the nose to keep the throat and airway open.
This improves airflow in the patients’ lungs, according to a new report funded by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the US.
Another treatment, a mouthpiece called a mandibular advancement device (MAD) can also be effective, the report discovered.
Carolyn M. Clancy, Director of AHRQ, stated: “These guides and this new report will help patients and their doctors understand what treatment options might be best for them.”
Many kinds of CPAP machines and masks exist; some fit over the nose, and others cover both the nose and mouth.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that disrupts sleep for an estimated 12 million Americans, with millions more undiagnosed.