Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is most commonly used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, a major issue with this therapy is noncompliance. Now, an international team of researchers has investigated the efficiency of a new implantable device that could be an alternative for OSA patients who are unable to use CPAP owing to discomfort or other problems.

The study involved 126 male and female participants (22 years old or older) who suffer from moderate to severe OSA and have had difficulty either accepting or adhering to CPAP therapy. All patients underwent surgery at various medical institutions in Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands or the U.S. to implant a device for Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy, which stimulates the nerve of the tongue during sleep, thereby enlarging and stabilizing the airway and improving control of breathing.

Twelve months after implantation of the device, patients were found to experience 68 to 70 percent fewer sleep apnea episodes per hour, decreasing from 29 events per hour to 9 events per hour. In addition to the reduction in the effects of sleep apnea, the patients reported improved quality of life.

Original Source: The Dental