Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute is now offering the Winx™ Sleep Therapy System, a treatment for patients with sleep apnea to promote normal breathing without a CPAP mask.
What is Winx?
The Winx system enables users to breathe through the nose without a mask and to sleep in any desired position. Called Oral Pressure Therapy (OPT), this new technology developed by ApniCure is designed for patients with mild, moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea. It is composed of a soft flexible mouthpiece, a slim tubing to facilitate any sleeping position and a small, quiet compact console.
How does it work?
Each patient is sized with a specific mouthpiece worn inside the mouth while sleeping. It is connected via thin tubing to a small console. The Winx system creates a light vacuum and applies a small negative pressure inside the mouth to stabilize the tongue, drawing the soft palate forward to prevent airway collapsibility during sleep. The system keeps track of patient usage data on a SD card to monitor aherence.
Who can benefit from Winx?
Winx is designed to increase treatment adherence for patients with sleep apnea who cannot tolerate CPAP or for those who wish to explore alternative treatment options. Patients with the right anatomical features can benefit from this therapy. It is not recommended for patients with Central Sleep Apnea, severe respiratory disorders such as lung disease, or oral conditions including loose teeth, advanced periodontol disease, or individuals with braces. It is not recommended for pediatric patients less than 18 years of age.
What are the side effects?
The Winx system can cause an irritation of the tissues surrounding the soft palate that often resolves after several days of usage. Patients who cannot get accustomed to the device due to anatomical or sensitivity issues should consider an alternative method of treatment.
Who should prescribed Winx?
Only a sleep physician can fully ensure treatment efficacy. Therefore, patients should consult with a sleep specialist trained in all aspects of Winx therapy, including the sizing of the oral device and ensuring adequate treatment efficacy. This treatment is not for everyone, and as such, should not be touted as a remedy for all. CPAP is considered the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea. The Winx system, much like dental devices, surgeries or positional therapies, is an alternative treatment option that has been proven effective in a minority of patients.
What to look for if you are interested in Winx?
Our physicians recommend consulting a qualified sleep doctor who is interested in the betterment of his/her patients and takes time to evaluate the different parameters that may contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. At our institute, we have very few patients who experience CPAP failure, in part because we have implemented a monitoring program that includes patient education. It is our goal to minimize the number of patients with potential Winx failure by carefully evaluating each potential candidate and including a long-term management plan. Click here to schedule a Winx evaluation