Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just Didgeridoo It; Instrument May Aid in Sleep Apnea Treatment


When it comes to sleep apnea treatment, many people find success using multiple options, such as a combination of oral appliance and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.

However, one Minneapolis man is trying an unusual blend of methods to treat his obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially life-threatening condition that affects approximately 20 million Americans. According to an article in the Star Tribune, he is battling his OSA with the use of a custom-made oral appliance and a didgeridoo.

Employing the didgeridoo to treat sleep apnea has been something of a fringe trend since 2006, when a Swiss study indicated that playing the Aboriginal Australian instrument decreased nighttime snoring and daytime drowsiness. The study suggested that playing the didgeridoo regularly strengthened muscles in the back of the throat, where tissue collapse during sleep can block the air passage and contribute to OSA.

The sporadically documented cases of patients who have tried it imply that it may be effective for those who have mild to moderate cases of OSA, especially when used in conjunction with another treatment, such as oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards.

Of course, while learning a musical instrument is encouraged, it’s also encouraged to seek medical advice if you believe you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea before signing up for didgeridoo lessons alone. A dentist who is experienced in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment can assess your individual condition and recommend a custom treatment plan.

Please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

posted by Steve at 1:14 PM