Night Shift - A New Treatment for Some Snorers

While statistics show that at least 40% of adults snore (and 20% of those have obstructive sleep apnea which can cause serious health problems), people are often hesitant to get help. The reason is that in the past, the only effective treatment options for apnea were a) the nightly use of a CPAP device (Continuos Positive Airway Pressure), or b) oral appliance therapy.

I'm excited about a new treatment option for sleep apnea which will hopefully encourage more and more people to consider treatment.

Night Shift is a new product endorsed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and approved for treating patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea (POSA). POSA is apnea occurring with a much greater frequency while sleeping on your back as compared to any other position. The device works by applying a vibrating sensation on the back of the neck, causing the patient to roll over and lessen or cease the apnea events. With this method, the patient, as well as others who may be disrupted during the night by gasping, choking, or snoring, can have more restful sleep without having to wake up, nudge or gently kick the person with the obstructed airway.

As snoring may be a symptom that occurs due to sleep apnea, a full examination and sleep study should be done in order to identify the severity of the problem. Night Shift is available by prescription only after completing a sleep study and verifying that apnea is at least 1.5 times more frequent while sleeping in a back position. This therapy may be appropriate to treat POSA alone, or as an adjunct to a CPAP or oral appliance based on an individual case. Presently, this product is not covered by insurance plans; however, my patients are able to receive discounts directly from the manufacturer.

August 10, 2015