Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissue of the throat and mouth collapses during sleep, leading to prolonged pauses in breathing that may last 10 seconds or longer. This condition can be caused by anatomical differences like a large tongue or smaller lower jaw, as well as issues with how the brain signals to breathe.

These symptoms can be severe and disrupt your daily activities. Furthermore, they increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.

OSA can be managed with a sleep therapy machine or other surgical procedures, but not continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. In addition to surgery, some individuals with OSA may benefit from weight loss, dental devices, nasal surgery or other treatments.

In 2014, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that people with severe OSA who could not use CPAP machines could benefit from an implanted upper airway stimulation device. This research involved 126 people who were resistant to CPAP therapy and showed that stimulation decreased the number of apneas per hour by 68%.

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HNS) is an alternate treatment for sleep apnea, or when breathing stops repeatedly during the night. People suffering from this condition can have a diminished quality of life as well as an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Hypoglossal nerve stimulator is an implanted device under your skin in your chest that sends pulses synchronized with breathing, signaling the hypoglossal nerve to move the tongue forward, opening up the airway and relieving symptoms associated with sleep apnea.

Consult your doctor or EasMed Singapore for more information about Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation treatments for obstructive sleep apnea.