February 11, 2022

Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?

Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?

BlueSleep patients often ask, “Can Obstructive Sleep Apnea be cured?” We like to say that sleep apnea can be effectively treated with a custom oral appliance or CPAP.

Custom oral devices open the airway (the deep part of the throat where air enters the lungs) by moving the jaw forward. They’ve proven to be effective in a number of clinical studies. CPAP is also a good option in severe cases, yet many patients find the equipment cumbersome and un-sexy.

Patients can also lose weight to reduce airway narrowing. There’s a strong correlation between BMI and obstructive sleep apnea. Yet, paradoxically, it’s hard to lose weight when you have untreated sleep apnea.

In the rare cases when neither oral appliances or CPAP are effective, some patients choose surgical options by removing soft tissues, opening the airway, or implanting a device that stimulates a nerve controlling the tongue. We don’t recommend surgery if you haven't first tried any of the other “non-invasive” treatments.

Here’s some topline clinical research:

Oral appliances may be highly effective in treating a type of sleep apnea

Oral appliance therapy was remarkably effective in some quite overweight patients with very severe OSA.

Clinical Evidence in the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances: A Systematic Review

A common finding was the positive responsiveness of oral appliance treatment in subjects affected by mild-to-moderate OSA with some evidence for cases of severe OSA.

Efficacy and Effectiveness of the ProSomnus® [IA] Sleep Device for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: EFFECTS Study

MAD was found to be an effective first-line treatment for patients with mild, moderate, and severe sleep apnea with excellent compliance rates, similar to or better than CPAP, and an equal or better MDA of 56.7% compared to literature values of 50% for CPAP.

Oral Appliance Therapy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The hypothesis for this study was that both MAD therapy and CPAP therapy have similar, better treatment effects than placebo therapy in OSA. The study was performed according to the CONSORT (consolidated standards of reporting trials) statement (Altman et al., 2001), employing a parallel-group, randomized, placebo-controlled trial design.

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