Sleep Briefs: New implant offers sleep apnea relief

snoringThere’s good news for the 18 million Americans with sleep apnea, a disorder that causes airways to repeatedly collapse during sleep.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have developed a surgically implanted “pulse generator” that senses when a patient is struggling to breathe and then stimulates the hypoglossal nerve in the neck muscles to prevent the airway collapse.

The current standard treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device, which can improve sleep but requires wrestling with electrical cords, face masks and hoses that recall Dark Vadar. CPAP

The pulse generator will be a boon for both patients and their partners, who face nights trying to rest beside twitching, snoring, mouth-breathers or someone tethered by their face to a humming motorized machine – neither an attractive option.

(Article Source: Sleep Savvy Magazine March 2014)

This blog post was originally published at Sleep Savvy Magazine and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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