It’s no secret that most people who have to use it hate CPAP, so when a Burlington, Massachusetts company advertised that they were going to make a tiny alternative sleep apnea treatment called Airing, people were predictably excited. So predictably, in fact, that the company probably knew they would reach their funding goal in the first two hours of their crowdfunding campaign.
But what’s not predictable is when–or even if–the treatment will make it to the market.
The Promise of Airing
Airing represents itself as a way to get the same results as CPAP without the big bulky machine. Instead, it’s just a tiny device that fits under your nose and blows air into your nostrils and airway, preventing the collapses that cause sleep apnea, and, incidentally, stopping snoring.
The device sucks in air and propels them using hundreds of tiny microblowers. These microblowers are electromagnetically driven pumps that consist of two tiny plates drawn together and forced apart by altering the charge of one of the plates.
This is what allows Airing to be so tiny and silent. The thought, then, is that it will be much more pleasant than CPAP, so people will use it more often, allowing them to get the benefit of CPAP. With traditional CPAP, a large percentage of users just don't use the device because they dislike it. As a result, even though it’s an effective treatment, many people don’t benefit from it.
Not so Fast, Airing
But despite the simplicity of the supposed design, there are good reasons to wonder whether the device will ever be available for sale in the US. First, we have to remember that no functioning prototype of Airing has been built yet. There’s just a design that we don’t know will prove at all practical.
And speaking of practical, what about the issue that many people need a very high pressure to keep their airway open. A small device like Airing, which has no securing straps, could just fly off the face of users, assuming it could get high enough pressure.
And if we assume that Airing would only be for people who need a relatively low CPAP pressure, there’s still the issue that rolling around could easily dislodge the device, too.
And what about mouth breathers? Airing won’t work at all for them? And people who need a humidifier or who need pressure variations on their CPAP? Airing might not work for them, either.
And, of course, there’s the whole issue of whether it will work well enough for the FDA to decide that it can be marketed in the US. New device approval is not a trivial process.
A CPAP Alternative You Can Get Today
It’s important to remember that we already have a proven, effective alternative to CPAP. Oral appliances work very well for the treatment of sleep apnea and snoring. They also have no mask, no hose, and no pump.
If you would like to learn whether you can benefit from a CPAP alternative in San Diego, please call (619) 299-5925 for an appointment with a sleep dentist at Strober Dental.