You struggle to sleep through the night ....you feel tired all the time...you fall asleep and someone tells you that your snoring is loud with periods of gasping...you may have sleep apnea but there's a hitch. Some people with sleep apnea - have it when they sleep on their back; when they shift to sleeping on their left or right side, the abnormal breathing and snoring resolves. Experts have found that 15% of mild sleep apnea patients (5 - 15 events/hr) and 20% of moderate sleep apnea patients (15-30 events/hour) have positional apnea. A device called the Zzoma may help them.
The Zzoma is a device worn around the chest, like a belt, with a device on the back that is firm and made out of foam and discourages them (because it's uncomfortable) from lying on their back. The device helps to reduce the apnea episodes (associated with positional sleep apnea) because the patient will sleep for most of the night on one side or the other side. Patients who are given the choice seem to prefer it to the traditional CPAP machine which involves wearing a face mask and hearing a machine all night long (though it is a very effective treatment if tolerated).
My grandfather used to wear a tennis ball in a pocket that my grandmother sewed on the back of his PJ tops. I am sure he had sleep apnea and grandma used an old fashioned solution. Who knew Grams was a budding scientist???
Published On: September 29, 2008