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There are a few factors to consider when choosing a reflux wedge, but the most important of these is the degree of elevation. Experts recommend a wedge pillow that offers elevation of at least 30 degrees or more. The ideal size for a wedge pillow for adults is at least 30 inches (about 75 cm) in length and 6 inches (about 15 cm) in height, for infants the size will vary according to the size and age of the child. The material the reflux wedge is made of and whether it has a removable, washable cover should also be kept in mind.
Reflux wedges are most commonly used to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) but can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of snoring, sleep apnea and even congestive heart failure. Wedge pillows offer varying degrees of elevation, but for maximum effectiveness, at least 30 degrees is recommended. A pillow of up to 45 degrees can be used but provides no additional benefit.
The wedge should extend to the lower back to offer sufficient support. Wedge pillows can be harder than normal pillows, so some prefer to use their normal pillows on top of the wedge. Foam rubber or other upholstery foam is normally used to manufacture reflux wedges and comes in varying densities. If the density of the foam is an issue, memory foam may be a good option as it conforms to the shape of the body to give extra support and comfort. If extra support is needed, a wedge with a removable neck support could be a good option. This provides extra support for the neck, head and the back.
If you're buying a reflux wedge for an infant, look for a wedge with straps or a harness that will keep the baby from sliding down the wedge or from turning over. It is imperative to choose the correct size for the baby's age and body size to ensure that it provides adequate support. Most reflux wedges are covered with cotton or poly cotton material, and some reflux wedge pillows come with a removable, washable cover. This is especially useful for children or infants and ensures that the wedge can be kept clean quite easily.
Some wedges are adjustable and can be used to watch television or for support when reading in bed. Additional support and comfort can be had in the form of a wedge made especially for the legs, this fits underneath the knees and can be used while sleeping or sitting up in bed.
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