There are a few options for treating sleep apnea, including new or used CPAP machines, but there’s one method of treatment that is unlike any other currently on the market.
Medical professionals have developed a synthetic cannabis pill that could potentially treat sleep apnea. This could help keep patients’ airways from closing while they’re sleeping, leading to a better night’s sleep and breathing that isn’t labored.
While a CPAP machine is a common choice of treatment for sleep apnea, some users complain of not being able to wear it throughout the night and dislike having marks on their face in the morning.
News4Jax spoke with Lisa Smith, a sleep apnea sufferer, who consistently uses her CPAP machine while sleeping. When told about a potential synthetic cannabis pill that could ease her apnea, she was optimistic about the possibility of being able to fall asleep easily.
“If it will put me to sleep, I will do it,” Smith said.
Affecting an estimated 18 million Americans, sleep apnea is a not-so-silent killer for many. If left untreated, sufferers are four times as likely to have a stroke and are three times as likely to develop heart disease.
Sleep apnea is a condition that leads to the constant stopping and restarting of breathing while asleep. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, these pauses cut off oxygen to the brain and brings you from a deep sleep to a shallow sleep state. This shift occurs throughout the night, leaving sufferers feeling tired throughout the day, no matter how much sleep they got.
The biggest danger of sleep apnea is being undiagnosed. Because there are no blood tests available to diagnose it, and the patient certainly can’t tell if their windpipe is becoming obstructed in their sleep, it may be left unnoticed for years. It is usually a family member or bed partner that first notices it.
While disturbed sleep may seem mild, it takes a huge toll on the body. Some patients don’t seek treatment and instead spend years without getting a good night’s rest.