Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snoring Treatment With the ‘Tongue Pacemaker’

An estimated 60% of men and 40% of women will be habitual snorers by the time they are 60 years old. For patients in need of snoring treatment, an innovative solution could keep the tongue from blocking the airway, resulting in a healthier night’s sleep for the patient and peaceful rest for those nearby.

Nicknamed the “pacemaker for the tongue,” the hypoglossal nerve stimulator was recently approved by the FDA. Once implanted inside of the chest, the device monitors the patient’s breathing during sleep. If the tongue begins to interfere with breathing, a gentle electric pulse stimulates the tongue to move it out of the airway.

Doctors have praised the “pacemaker” as an improvement on other surgical solutions for snoring and sleep apnea, which permanently make the airways wider but also tend to have a long, often painful recovery. However, surgery might be unnecessary for snoring treatment.

Nonsurgical snoring treatment options include: 

  • Oral appliances that keep the airway open at night
  • Lifestyle changes, including a firmer mattress, altering your position while sleeping, and reducing or avoiding alcohol
  • Modifying your sleep habits by tying a tennis ball to your back – this will keep you from lying on your back, which reduces the intensity of snoring
  • Losing excess weight and keeping it off
Doctors are also enthusiastic about the hypoglossal nerve stimulator because it could be an effective alternative to the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. Though CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnea and snoring, many patients find wearing a cumbersome mask too uncomfortable to do overnight every night.

For more information on non-invasive snoring treatment, please contact a local sleep specialist or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today for a consultation.

posted by Admin at 12:14 PM