Sleep apnoea disrupts the lives of many, leading to problematic snoring, tiredness and health challenges. While Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines have been the traditional treatment, they aren’t suitable and difficult to use for most people. Now, groundbreaking new research led by Professor Danny Eckert at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health is heralding a new era with a spotlight on Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).

The Challenge with CPAP
CPAP machines, though effective, can be uncomfortable for some. Professor Eckert’s team recognised this challenge and sought alternatives, finding that combining therapies can yield impressive results for those unable to tolerate CPAP.

The Rise of Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
OAT has emerged as the best alternative, effectively treating many with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Unlike CPAP, OAT is far better tolerated and can be a primary solution. This research aimed to enhance OAT’s effectiveness, if needed, by adding targeted therapies, known as “endotype” characterisation.

Flipping the Traditional Model
“Rather than everyone first trying CPAP…we flipped the model on its head and gave everyone a dental split in the first instance,” explains Professor Eckert. This innovative approach aligns with SleepWise Clinic’s focus on patient comfort and personalised care, making OAT the preferred starting point for the majority of patients.

Combining Therapies: A Comprehensive Solution
If the dental device alone was insufficient, simple extra treatments were added, fixing almost all remaining patients.

The Results: A Triumph for OAT
Using this innovative approach, almost all participants were treated successfully, with only a few requiring CPAP. “Essentially, we believe this outlines a whole new way of treating sleep apnoea,” says Professor Eckert. This research underscores the potential of OAT as a leading solution in sleep apnoea treatment.

Conclusion: This research, published by the Annals of the American Thoracic Society*, represents a significant shift in sleep apnoea treatment. At SleepWise Clinic, we embrace OAT as a cornerstone of our approach, focusing on personalised care and cutting-edge therapies.

At SleepWise Clinic, we are committed to providing innovative solutions to enhance our patients’ well-being. This research aligns with our dedication to offering the best care possible.

**Reference:**
Eckert, D., Aishah, A., Tong, B., et al. “Stepwise Add-on and Endotype-informed Targeted Combination Therapy to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: A Proof-of-Concept Study.” Annals of the American Thoracic Society. DOI: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.202210-892OC https://news.flinders.edu.au/blog/2023/08/08/flipping-the-model-presents-a-new-way-to-treat-sleep-apnoea/

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