Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alternative Treatment for Sleep Apnea Awaits FDA Approval

Positional sleep apnea sufferers may soon find an alternative to CPAP machines, currently considered the most effective treatment for patients who stop breathing during sleep. Though CPAP (a machine that blows pressurized air through a mask to open the airway) is effective, approximately 50% of those suffering from positional sleep apnea use the machines incorrectly. Many patients find them burdensome and uncomfortable, causing non-compliance. Six percent of our population probably has positional sleep apnea, manifested by snoring at night, and excessive daytime fatigue.

A new device, “Zzoma”, is under study, created by former Temple Fellow Joseph G. Crocetti. Research is being conducted by Samuel Krachman, D.O., professor of medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital. The device is worn around the chest like a belt. A firm, foam material supports the back, preventing patients from moving onto their back – the body position that causes snoring and cessation of breathing.

Sleep apnea is a serious problem, leading to heart disease and high blood pressure. It can interfere with job performance, and lead to a host of other health problems if left untreated. Sleep apnea is an often missed diagnosis.

Dr. Krachman is hopeful the FDA will approve the sleep apnea aid, which he has been using on patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, for study purposes, over the past year.

Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University
Samuel Krachman, D.O., holds Zzoma, a belt-like device worn during sleep to alleviate positional sleep apnea.


Research underway to give sleep apnea sufferers relief and rest


American Sleep Apnea Association