New technological advances in sleep apnea relief

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes the upper airway to collapse during sleep, killing 40,000 people each year.

Sleep apnea impacts almost a billion people worldwide when their throat muscles collapse during sleep, blocking their breathing.

To remedy the ailment, people will use noisy CPAP machines for relief, but newfound innovations might lead to a slimmer, more natural alternative.

A single incision under the chin is made, the Genio is implanted inside and is activated by the patient before bed, allowing them to get a good night’s rest.

“We’re providing a gentle pulse to the tongue nerves while a patient is asleep overnight to open up the airway by moving the tongue forward to unblock the airway to keep their throat from blocking up and to help, potentially, keep them from snoring as well,” said Dr. David Kent.

Sleep apnea sufferers who are at a normal weight dislike claustrophobic CPAPs attached to long, bulky hoses.

With the Genio, there’s no implanted power source, so there are no battery changes down the road in the future.

It is being clinically trialed at Vanderbilt University, and researchers believe it will be available for the public in 12 to 18 months.

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