Evaluation of a new simple treatment for positional sleep apnoea patients
Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome is a common clinical problem. Positional sleep apnoea syndrome, defined as having a supine apnoea–hypopnoea index of twice or more compared to the apnoea–hypopnoea index in the other positions, occurs in 56% of obstructive sleep apnoea patients. A limited number of studies focus on decreasing the severity of sleep apnoea by influencing sleep position. In these studies an object was strapped to the back (tennis balls, squash balls, special vests), preventing patients from sleeping in the supine position. Frequently, this was not successful due to arousals while turning from one lateral position to the other, thereby disturbing sleep architecture and sleep quality. We developed a new neck‐worn device which influences sleep position by offering a vibration when in supine position, without significantly reducing total sleep time. Thirty patients with positional sleep apnoea were included in this study. No side effects were reported. The mean apnoea–hypopnoea index dropped from 27.7 ± 2.4 to 12.8 ± 2.2. Seven patients developed an overall apnoea–hypopnoea index below 5 when using the device in ON modus. We expect that positional therapy with such a device can be applied as a single treatment in many patients with mild to moderate position‐dependent obstructive sleep apnoea, while in patients with a more severe obstructive sleep apnoea such a device could be used in combination with other treatment modalities.
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