Why Every Anti-Snoring Invention Sparks Sleep Apnea Hope

Woman trying to plug her husband's nose, to stop snoringSleep apnea affects millions of people around the world. This potentially life-threatening condition causes you to stop breathing at night, resulting in sleep disturbances and sleepiness the following day. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway. One of the most noticeable signs of OSA is snoring, though many people do not equate this annoying nighttime sound with a serious medical condition. A large number of snore-stopping inventions have come to life over the last few years, with the potential of more to come. Whether or not they stop snoring and help sleep apnea patients is still yet to be seen.

The Anti-snoring Bear

In 2011, news sources and technology-buff websites were abuzz about the anticipated release of a Japanese anti-snoring robot named Jukusui-kun. Invented by Wasaeda University’s Akiyoshi Kabe, this bear-shaped robot was designed to help people with sleep apnea. A microphone in Jukusui-kun monitored snoring levels of a single individual. In order to stop a person’s snoring, this cute bedmate would gently prod the offender with a paw if their snoring reached a certain volume. The goal of Jukusi-kun was to help people suffering from OSA. In theory, prodding the sleeper would encourage them to shift into a new position in order to reopen their airway.

Despite the hype, Jukusi-kun never got off the ground. Making a heavy sleeper roll over does not always open narrowed airways back up, and that is not the only cause of snoring. Despite Jukusi-kun’s apparent failure, it inspired others to invent similar technologies. A hi-tech pillow that utilizes the same snore-sensing concept has hit the Japanese market in recent years. This pillow vibrates when snoring volumes increase in order to encourage the sleeper to change position.

Hidden Potential For the Future

Although Jukusi-kun was not a resounding success, and the vibrating anti-snoring pillow is not widely recognized as an effective tool, these inventions should spark hope in sufferers of sleep apnea. These and similar inventions show that sleep apnea is not an invisible condition. Inventors like Akiyoshi Kabe recognize that this disruptive condition exists and strive to produce new tools to help sufferers manage their symptoms. Current sleep apnea treatment options are effective, but the invention of new and effective means for sleep apnea control would give sufferers a wider range of options.

Advances in medical technology come about from the creation of prototypes just like Jukusi-kun. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) was invented only after Colin Sullivan conducted research on obstructed airways in dogs and invented an apparatus that would help them breathe more easily in 1979. Before that, the only answer to OSA was risky tracheostomies. As research continues to move forward, the potential for new and effective technologies increases. Other forms of sleep apnea treatment came even later than the CPAP prototype.

Treating Your Sleep Apnea Today

The future holds a great deal of potential for the invention of new sleep apnea treatments. Your health, however, is too important to wait around and see what comes around in the years to come. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you can protect your health through the use of CPAP or CPAP alternatives. CPAP provides you with a continuous flow of oxygen, but it is not for everyone. Not every case of sleep apnea requires the use of CPAP. You may benefit from CPAP alternatives such as nighttime oral appliances that open your airway to improve your quality of sleep.

Sleep apnea may cause other health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart failure if left untreated. To learn more about CPAP alternatives for treating this condition, please call 303-759-5652 today to schedule an appointment with a Denver dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care.