New Technology Addresses Sleep Apnea Head On
With 18 million Americans losing sleep at night due to sleep apnea, a new pacemaker-like device that stimulates the nerve in the neck that controls those muscles that keep the airway open is sure to bring relief to many. While there is existing CPAP treatment that applies air pressure through a mask which keeps the airway open, many find sleeping with it intrusive and uncomfortable. This implanted “ pulse generator” will help those snorers whose sleep is usually continuously disrupted, by stimulating nerves that allow the body to breathe when otherwise it would not
According to Dr. Carol Ash, Director of Sleep Medicine at Meridian Health, “When you look at sleep disorders, and how we’re not getting enough sleep — this is the biggest public health issue facing society today.” The long-term consequences of untreated sleep apnea can be deadly, causing heart problems and other serious medical issues.
Although it hasn’t yet been approved by the FDA, the device is being hailed as a tremendous breakthrough with the general public eagerly awaits its debut.