New Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea May Be a Viable Alternative to Uncomfortable CPAP Devices

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is affecting more and more people. Treatments such as CPAP are not always tolerated well. For some, it may not even be a viable option. In order to add variety and efficiency to the short list of therapies, researchers tested a new device that uses mild electronic stimulation. Thorough testing on a number of participants yielded good feedback. The results showed promise. Here is what they found.

The device is an upper airway mild electronic stimulator. Its purpose is to deliver a pulse to the hypoglossal nerve. This small stimulation keeps pattern with a person’s breathing while they sleep and ensures that the tongue does not block the airway. This device is the first of its kind and offers a solution to the more difficult-to-use CPAP machine.

In the trial, there were 126 participants. Each had OSA and had a body index lower than 32. Most of the participants were men. Sleep apnea ranged from moderate to moderately severe. Another important factor that each was tested for was that their obstruction was at tongue level. After surgery, patients were monitored and had their devices adjusted according to individual needs.

After a year, testing for both ODI and AHI was done. The results showed a dramatic improvement of nearly 70% in both areas. Nearly all participants reported better sleep and overall improvement in well-being. The benefits to this new device are clear, but there’s more. While surgical options to improve obstructive sleep apnea can be major and alter certain facial features, this implant is simple. With millions suffering from sleep apnea, and many unable to tolerate CPAP therapy, this is a great alternative. Further testing will follow, but it looks as if upper-level electric stimulation will be available soon.