Sunday, January 2, 2011

Strange new device for sleep apnea

The most recognized cure for sleep apnea is the CPAP machine, a device that blows air through a tube constantly which in turn keeps the throat’s airway open. If the CPAP doesn’t work there is always surgery, which is not always reliable. Alternative cures exist like playing didgeridoo or doing mouth exercises but they haven’t been proven to work. Now there is a new device created by Inspire medical systems which acts like a pacemaker to keep your throat open.

The device is surgically implanted in your chest. The device sends electrical shocks (small electrical shocks) to the tongue and the back of the throat to keep them from collapsing which prevents airway blockage. The pacemaker detects when the sleep apnea sufferer stops breathing, it then send the charge. I can imagine that whatever electrical charge is sent it can’t be that strong, at least I hope not. The device can also be adjusted for different levels of sleep apnea.

Testing on the device will begin at the end of January with 100 patients. It will be interesting to see if it works

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