Fragmented breathing and consistent snoring are symptoms of Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
It’s a condition that affects sleep quality and induces snoring due to partial or complete obstruction of the airway.
Did you know that Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious risk factor for health complications such as a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes?
As a very common form of sleep apnea, OSA arises when the airflow in your throat faces blockage. Eventually, the lack of airflow leads to snoring.
OSA leads to a lack of oxygen in your body, which may birth dire long-term consequences.
The most effective treatment for OSA is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. It may not be foolproof, but it does the job better than many other treatment options.
But there’s a downside to CPAP machines:
They come with masks and hose attachments that make it really difficult to sleep comfortably at night.
This brings us to our today’s choice of anti-snoring device: micro CPAP.
Micro CPAP machines will offer you the same treatment as a traditional CPAP machine, but with fewer attachments.
While these machines may help with your snoring problems, their efficacy in treating OSA remains unconfirmed.
Let’s have a look at the claims some manufacturers have made about the device.
What Is a Micro CPAP Device?
Micro CPAP is an invention of Stephen A. Marsh. Airing Micro CPAP brings an alternative and more convenient CPAP therapy method to patients around the world.
It is a hoseless, cordless, and maskless device claimed to be effective in the treatment of OSA.
However, there’s no claim or evidence to prove its role in the treatment of other types of sleep apnea such as:
- Central Sleep Apnea
- Complex Sleep Apnea
These devices have a micro-blowers technology used to regulate heat and keep computer parts from overheating. Marsh has put hundreds of micro-blowers lined up in parallel and enclosed in a small casing for micro CPAPs.
The technology allows adequate airflow when delivered in the air passage using nasal plugs.
This method may prove helpful in treating sleep apnea and eliminating snores.
The device is about 2 inches in length, 1.5 inches in breadth, and 1 inch in height. It weighs around 0.9 ounces and has an internal battery that keeps it running for over eight hours.
Pro tip: Certain lifestyle changes like regular exercise and sleeping in a side pozzy can help you reduce snoring.
What Are the Features of a Micro CPAP Device for Snoring?
The Airing Micro CPAP device has a range of features that make it more advanced and convenient than the traditional CPAP machine.
A micro CPAP machine comprises of an injection-molded shell containing micro components and micro blowers. The device runs on a battery.
Let’s give you a rundown of the features of a micro CPAP device:
#1 Daily Disposable
It is a disposable device. You can use it only once before you will have to dispose of it. The reason behind this is the consumer complaint about the constant cleaning and maintenance of their CPAP machines.
Well, the new micro CPAP definitely takes care of that.
You can discard the micro CPAP device after it has been in use for a night. For the next day, you will need a new device.
#2 Maskless and Hoseless
These devices are free of heavy and bulky hoses. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about turning in your sleep and getting the face or nasal masks entangled.
The compact design and minimalist body is appealing to snorers and OSA sufferers everywhere.
#3 Battery Powered
Small batteries power the micro CPAP device. The runtime for these batteries is longer than eight hours.
#4 Micro Blowers
Micro blowers fitted inside the micro CPAP machine maintain continuous airflow. The technology allows the flow of oxygen into your nose and down your air passage.
#5 Silicone Nose Buds
The device comes with 2 silicone nose buds that will tightly fit into your nostrils and maintain a tight seal around the nose.
This will keep you from having to use the dreaded hoses.
A micro CPAP has two vents:
- Inhalation Vents
- Exhalation Vents
You can locate the inhalation vent at the top of the micro CPAP device. They have a similar width to that of the device.
When you inhale, the micro blower technology regulates the air pressure and maintains the airflow to treat the symptoms of sleep apnea – including deep snores.
Top 3 Claims About the Viability of Micro CPAP Machines
There have been mixed opinions about whether or not micro CPAP machines really do work. Most customer reviews say micro CPAP is not very effective for OSA.
However, manufacturers continue to claim that micro CPAP could truly replace typical CPAP models in both comfort and efficiency. See below an image explaining how this device actually works in more detail.
One company claims that 50% of the patients using CPAP machines go off the therapy within a year due to discomfort and noise. They are hoping micro CPAP will turn things around for consumers.
Fact: Micro CPAP machines are not FDA approved.
Now, let’s have a look at a few other claims surrounding these smaller CPAP machines.
#1 Decrease in Noise
Typical CPAP machines have a mask connected to an electric machine through hose attachments. The machine hums with a lot of noise, which is a huge distraction during sleep.
This isn’t the case with micro CPAP. It is not connected to any machine. As a result, it does not create noise while you sleep.
However, the main question remains: Is micro CPAP as effective as more traditional methods for treating OSA?
#2 Allows Movement during Sleep
The attachments in a CPAP machine make it super difficult to change positions during the night. This may even result in the disruption of sleep several times during the night.
Micro CPAP takes away this frustration from many OSA patients. These devices are cordless and do not give patients much trouble during sleep.
#3 Reduced Snoring
The manufacturers of popular cordless and maskless micro CPAP devices, Airing claim that the mini version of CPAP machines can effectively reduce snoring.
It attaches to your nose via buds to keep them intact and create pressure in your airways.
However, there’s still a glaring lack of scientific research to prove if micro CPAP completely eliminates snoring.
Pro tip: A healthy diet can help eliminate snores. So, if you’re a habitual snorer, cut down on your diet of Macca’s and other greasy food at late night.
Do Micro CPAP Machines Really Work?
Irrespective of how many claims the manufacturers make, it all boils down to one thing: do these machines really work?
Read on to find out!
Most OSA patients and chronic snorers are already familiar with the hype and media coverage that surrounds the Airing micro CPAP device. But does it deliver?
Here are some must-know facts about Micro CPAP:
- Micro CPAP is disposable after a single night of use.
- According to Snoring Device Australia, micro CPAP is a robust and reasonably priced snoring solution.
- The device is battery-powered and requires no cleaning (since it is disposable).
- Micro CPAP comes with metal, plastic, and battery parts, but claimed recyclable (not proven).
- The device has no cord or hose, but it is still a mask like the regular CPAP one.
- The design looks similar to the cut out of nasal pillow masks used with CPAP machines.
- It’s a one-size-fits-all device so sizing may be a problem for those having smaller or larger than average mouths.
There are also clear downsides to micro CPAP that you must consider:
As most sleep apnea patients or those with snoring issues breathe through their mouths, the air and pressure are likely to escape.
After continued use, many learn to breathe through their nose again.
But if someone is suffering from a condition like a deviated septum or nasal congestion, they may not be able to completely breathe through their nose.
Patients using CPAP require full-face masks or chinstraps. However, Airing completely overlooks the entire issue.
Controversy Surrounding the Airing Micro CPAP
Airing is the company that introduced the first micro CPAP device to the healthcare market. The company ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the device, yet it does not have approval from the Food and Drug Association (FDA).
The company is exploring 510(k) clearance to put the device on the market. This is an option companies usually use during preclearance.
However, the 510(k) does not give any manufacturer free reign.
According to the law, Airing will have to demonstrate how safe and effective their device is as compared to other similar ones on the market.
The major obstacle is the lack of evidence supporting the efficacy of micro CPAP for the treatment of sleep apnea and snoring issues.
Until we have clinical evidence, it’s hard to say if micro CPAP will be as effective as its more traditional predecessor.
What Are the Other Treatment Options for OSA Patients?
Traditional CPAP therapy and surgical operations are the two most common and reliable treatment options for OSA patients.
Here are a few surgical options to open up your congested airways:
- Tongue Reduction
- Stimulation of Hypoglossal Nerve
- Palatal Implants
Pro tip: Place an air humidifier in your bedroom. It will add moisture to the air inside your bedroom and keep your throat from feeling dry.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Since it’s a disposable device; the manufacturers are going for a much lower price point than the expensive traditional CPAP machine.
The minimum price for a micro CPAP is $3. If you have insurance, you will have to pay only $0.60.
The soft silicone nose buds make a tight fit to keep the device in place. A nasal pillow CPAP mask could provide a somewhat similar experience.
There’s no need for direct humidification. The internal sensor does its job and removes any excessive airflow. A passive humidification is still an option on the table.
There’s news that the device may be self-adjusting in the future and adjust itself breath by breath. For now, it is set to your prescribed pressure.
The micro blower technology of a micro CPAP device can deliver a pressure of 20 cm of water.
Insurance companies offer an 80% reimbursement rate on healthcare insurance. Since micro CPAP is a variant of CPAP therapy, customers will receive the same rate.
The device is already cheap ($3 min.), an 80% reimbursement rate will bring down the price to $0.60 per piece.
The Airing Micro CPAP does not have approval from the FDA. Medicare approval is only for long-lasting equipment. But the micro CPAP device is discarded and disposed of after one-time use.
Battery operated micro CPAP device is yet to gain FDA approval. The lack of clinical evidence and some clear loopholes in the construction of the device do not do any favors for the future of micro CPAP in the healthcare industry.
Here’s hoping micro CPAP can fulfill the claims and replace traditional CPAP therapy to provide a more convenient OSA treatment and snoring solution to people in Australia and worldwide.