Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects nearly a billion people in the world. It is a sleep disorder that involves cessations of breathing throughout the night. These pauses can significantly disrupt sleep, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, and other health issues.
The mainstay treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) which is a large mask that fits over the nose and mouth and provides enough pressure to keep the airway from collapsing. Due to the size of the CPAP machine, and the tubes and discomfort, many individuals may choose to not use a CPAP, which can worsen and prolong their disease.
However, new technology may offer something a little more comfortable: Micro CPAP. We are going to review what they are and how they work so you can talk with your doctor to see if it's the best option for you.
What is a Micro CPAP?
A working micro CPAP prototype has yet to be completed. There are devices that are currently be marketed as such, but they have not be approved by the Food and Drug Administration yet for the treatment of OSA.
A micro CPAP is supposed to be less invasive than traditional devices. Micro CPAPs would differ in that they wouldn't[ include the supplies that traditional CPAP machines require, such as a tabletop unit that plug into the wall, a mask, and a hose.
Sleepers must connect all the components, adjust the mask, turn the device on and find a comfortable way to sleep. Traditional machines also require regular cleaning and maintenance.
Micro CPAPs are designed to be much less maintenance. They are silicon nose buds that sit inside the nostrils and the device rests just below the nose. It contains inhalation and exhalation vents as well as the electrical components needed to generate positive airway pressure.
How micro CPAP Works
The idea is to eliminate the need for the tabletop device that has to be plugged in and the bulky masks. The current idea is to develop interior compartments called microblowers. They are intended to create positive airway pressure by using electrostatic charge. It's designed to be battery powered with an life of up to 8 hours.
It is still in the development stage, so it's still unknown if it will be approved as an effective treatment option for OSA compared to traditional CPAP machines. They may not be able to generate the minimum amount of pressure necessary.
They currently have not received approval and also have yet to address a lot of concerns as far as pressure control, humidity, and proper disposal. If they are able to address these issues and receive approval, then that would bring another option to the market to help with CPAP issues.
If you are experiencing OSA but are looking for treatment alternatives, then please click the orange button to take a free online sleep test and get in contact with one of our sleep health professionals.