High-tech sleep apnea gadget that could save snorer's lives
Original Article By: Martyn Halle
The eXciteOSA, a high-tech anti-snoring device, could soon be available to some National Health Service (NHS) patients for free following successful trials. The device is designed to combat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the muscles in the throat relax and block the airways, briefly stopping sufferers from breathing and waking them up, often with loud snoring. Repeated interruptions to oxygen supply and disruption to sleep as a result of sleep apnea have been correlated with the onset of life-threatening health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
An estimated 1.5 million Britons suffer from sleep apnea, with weight being the biggest risk factor and around 70% of sufferers being classified as obese. In an NHS trial of the eXciteOSA device, 20 Britons with sleep apnea were enrolled and 18 were found to experience a significant reduction in symptoms, slept better, and had less difficulty breathing. The partners of the participants also slept better due to reduced snoring.
The device works by administering a mild electrical current to the tongue and upper airway, strengthening the muscles in the tongue and reducing the risk of it collapsing during sleep, which causes snoring. It is controlled by a mobile app and if worn in the mouth once a week for as little as 20 minutes a day, it is likely to maintain its effects.
Currently, the NHS offers continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), which involves wearing a face mask to blow air into the throat while asleep, reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea. However, this treatment is uncomfortable and does not cure the condition. Another form of treatment suggested for patients with severe sleep apnea is surgery to remove tonsils, but it is rarely performed by the NHS. The eXciteOSA device could be a new noninvasive, effective form of treatment for sleep apnea that could help thousands of people impacted by the sleep disorder.
Halle, M. (2023, February 5). Gadget that saves snorer's lives zapping tongue to be made free on NHS. Daily Mail. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11713205/Sleep-apnoea-gadget-save-lives-zapping-tongue-free-NHS.html
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