These findings suggest that TNI may be a more viable treatment option for patients with hypopnea and sleep apnea. Current treatment optionsare often intrusive or invasive and not well-tolerated, leaving a vast number of patients untreated, said Dr. Schneider.
Improved therapeutic strategies are required to treat sleep apneas and hypopneas and their associated morbidity and mortality.
Sleep apnea affects more than 12 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health, and is especially prevalent in overweight or obese individuals. Many more have the milder form of sleep-associated respiratory disorders, hypopnea.
Untreated sleep apnea can increase the chance of having high blood pressure and risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, as well as putting patients at risk for work-related accidents and driving accidents.
At present, CPAP [continuous positive airway pressure] is most effective at eliminating apneas and hypopneas, [but] long-term effectiveness is compromised by low adherence, wrote the researchers.
We developed a simplified method for increasing pharyngeal pressure by delivering warm and humidified air at a continuous high flow rate through the open nasal cannula.
While patients with severe sleep apneas may be more highly motivated to adhere to treatment with CPAP or surgery, younger, thinner and healthier patients with milder disorders may find the TNI approach appealing, according to Dr. Safwan Badr, chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Haper University Hospital in Detroit and chair of the American Thoracic Societys Assembly on Respiratory Neurobiology and Sleep.
The authors noted that the minimally intrusive nasal interface of TNI may improve patient adherence, and may ultimately prove more effective at managing long-term morbidity and mortality of sleep apnea.
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