Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes the upper airway to collapse during sleep. In fact, 40,000 die from it each year.

Breathing stops, or slows, so patients use a bulky and noisy C-PAP machine for relief. Now, there is a slimmer, and more natural alternative.

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

“Sleep apnea is also related to body weight. As body weight goes up, the throat gets increasingly collapsible at night, and it can become so collapsible that nothing else will help to keep it open besides a C-PAP machine or significant weight loss,” said David Kent, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Some apnea sufferers are at normal weight, but dislike claustrophobic C-PAPs attached to long, bulky hoses.

Now there is new hope in an implanted device called the genio that stimulates the nerves that help with breathing.

“We’re actually 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,” Dr. Kent explained.

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.