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sleep apnea

Daytime sleepiness is a big indicator of sleep apnea. Find out what new research may help the sleep pros learn about sleep apnea (photo credo: BigStockPhoto.com)

In September, the National Sleep Foundation launched a new tool that will help doctors educate their patients about sleep apnea.  The Sleep Disordered Breathing Anatomical Model is a 3-dimensional representation of a human head that provides a visual understanding of how the anatomy of those with sleep disordered breathing conditions like sleep apnea differs from the anatomy of people without the condition.   The hope is that this new model will help patients understand their condition more quickly and completely than was previously possible.

The model, which can be purchased from the National Sleep Foundation, displays a portion of a human head that can be opened to show how sleep apnea affects the ability to breathe while sleeping.  One half of the head shows the anatomy of a normal person while the other half shows what is happening to someone with sleep apnea.  The entire display sits on a base and comes with a descriptive card that provides additional explanation.

The model was developed to enable better sleep apnea education.  Many sleep professionals, including Dr. Kryger who developed the model, previously felt that the way obstructive sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing was explained to patients was too complex and that the complexity was hindering patient understanding.  Dr. Kryger developed the model to simplify that process and to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the condition.

By using the model, doctors can use a visual reference to explain common causes of sleep apnea including excessive tissue in the nose, mouth, or throat, naturally narrow airways, and enlarged tongue.  The model can be purchased from the National Sleep Foundation and all proceeds will go toward furthering sleep apnea education.

For more information on the model or to purchase one, click here.

For more information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea including symptoms, causes, and treatment options, click here.