Expert Solutions for Sleep Apnea
Prevention & Treatment Two experts in the field talk to Mediaplanet about the biggest contributors to sleep deprivation in America and what is being done to help people get better sleep.
What do you believe is the biggest contributor to sleep deprivation?
Kirk Huntsman: One of the biggest contributors is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. This particular sleep disorder is now known to affect up to one in three adults and three in four kids. In adults, OSA is associated with higher rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimers, fibromyalgia and virtually every other chronic illness that plagues modern man. In children, OSA is associated with ADD/ADHD, bedwetting, lower IQ, crowded and crooked teeth, aggressive behavior, daytime drowsiness, and more. If left untreated, OSA saps our energy, ruins our close relationships and can even shorten our lives by up to 10 years.
Jay Levitt: More and more individuals are choosing to transact as many aspects of their lives as possible via virtual technology such as the internet. The healthcare space is no exception as a movement towards virtual care and telemedicine take hold. It is now possible for individuals to navigate the entire diagnosis journey via virtual care and at-home sleep testing. This new paradigm offers a much more streamlined and comprehensive experience, which ultimately leads to better outcomes. This approach, combined with therapy devices that allow for real time feedback of results, elevates the individual’s ownership in their own therapy which has proved to improve overall efficacy and compliance.
What is one innovation you are excited about that can help combat sleep disorders?
KH: Up until now, a clinical diagnosis of OSA amounted to a life sentence. Patients were told that there is no cure, and that the best that modern medicine has to offer is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device every night for the rest of their life. CPAP does relieve symptoms, but the vast majority of CPAP users refuse to wear it and the rest hate it. So along comes Vivos with a patented and proprietary system that can actually enhance the upper airway, remove the obstructions behind OSA and may eliminate the need for further treatment. This is a much-welcomed breakthrough for the tens of millions of Americans who suffer.
JL: The sleep space is changing rapidly as we see the convergence of technology with sleep disorder diagnosis and therapy devices. Technology is allowing for efficient and credible diagnosis from home, minimizing the need for doctor’s office visits and sleep labs. Therapy devices now provide connectivity that allows for a continuous feedback loop that enables users to have real time access to therapy results, thereby creating a new level of ownership in the therapy experience.
What advice would you give to someone suffering from sleep apnea?
KH: Don’t underestimate the damage that your snoring or sleep apnea is causing inside. We all used to laugh at people who snore. Now we know that it could kill them. So my advice to anyone who suspects they might have sleep apnea is to find their way to a Vivos Breathing Wellness center or a Vivos Integrated Practice and get an evaluation.
JL: Sleep apnea is truly a medical condition that lives in the shadows of sleep. Because most people are totally unaware that they have the condition, they do not connect the dots between the many consequences of undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea and related health problems. In addition, the stigma and misconceptions regarding sleep apnea and therapy often discourage individuals from seeking diagnosis and treatment. For these reasons, it is important that those that suspect they may be having respiratory events while sleeping pursue the simple path to diagnosis and, when appropriate, embrace therapy options that can truly change their life.