If you follow our blog closely you know that we are not stuck on just using CPAP. OSA is a disease that exists on a spectrum. Not everyone will do well on positive airway pressure. We always strive to include the alternate therapy. The following will try to present an unbiased review of The Winx® Sleep Therapy System.
We all know what OSA is by now so we don’t have to spend times with definitions. What we will repeat is that not all OSA is the same. Some people have mild sleep apnea, others just in REM sleep, others still just while sleeping on their back. Just as sleep apnea is different, treatment should also be specialized for each patient. The winx system is designed to offer several benefits to OSA patients especially those that cannot tolerate CPAP. It works basically in the oposite way as CPAP. It essentially draws the soft palate forward along with the tongue to open the airway and alleviate snoring during sleep.
#1 benefit is the fact that there is no mask. Already I sense a lot of people coming on board. Many of adherence issues to CPAP is the the cumbersome and sometimes confining masks. Nowadays this is somewhat alleviated by the advent of nasal pillows and nasal masks which are less obtrusive.
Another obstacle to CPAP use is the noise factor. Again this is less of an issue with new machines. The decibel counts of newer CPAP machines are in the same range as a whisper. This however does not take into account the noise of mask leaks which at times are pretty significant
The Winx console measures 5 ½ x 3 ½ x 3 ⅝ inches. Compared to the Resmed S10 there is a substantial size difference. However in one of our earlier posts we reviewed newer travel CPAP machines which are comparable in size.
There are some reported complaints of irritation of the tissues surrounding the soft palate that some patients get used to. There are some cases of patients who cannot wear due to anatomical issues. Its important to get a good fit as each individual is sized for their mouthpiece.
Is the Winx expensive? Well comparatively its seems pretty similar cost. For about $61 per month you can get a Winx but this does seem to have a 14.99% APR Interest added on top of the cost. Not only that but you will be making 36 monthly payments. All pricing options do not include supplies (mouthpiece, tube and filter) that are recommended every 3 months.. It is important to note that there is a 60-day money-back guarantee, which probably makes up for the fact that Winx is not covered by Medicare or by most private insurance. Per the website you can use Health Spending Account (HSA) dollars to pay for it.
Whats the evidence?
Well the Winx does have some evidence behind it. One of the more recent studies the ATLAST Study Results had some pretty good results. This study was a multicenter, prospective, clinical trial which did show a substantial reduction in AHI and ODI for patients with moderate and severe OSA. Responders achieved median AHI reduction from 26.2 to 5.7, Median objectively recorded usage per night was 6.0 hours, and 76% of participants responded they would use the Winx System to treat their OSA.
Thumbs up or Thumbs down?
Well I’m going to have to say that our editors were a little torn on this one. We think the evidence is out there and some patient’s will benefit, especially those with claustrophobia issues. The device is portable and light and is good for traveling. The downside is that it is not covered by insurance and it seems that being locked into payments for 36 months might be a bit off-putting. Let alone having to cover supplies. Overall we give the Winx a thumbs up if you have failed CPAP. Remember to talk to your Doctor about any therapy options that are available for you.
Further information available on www.apnicure.com