Sleep: £648 An anti-snoring device that zaps your TONGUE can reduce snoring by more than a fifth

Does your partner snore like a circular saw? Help may be at hand with a device that can reduce sniffles by more than a fifth by applying electricity to the wearer’s tongue.

The eXciteOSA unit doesn’t actually zap the wearer while they sleep as a punishment for snoring (as appealing as that sounds to some long-suffering bedmates!)

Instead, the device from London-based Signifier Medical Technologies is worn for daytime sessions and stimulates the muscles of the mouth and tongue.

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the structures in the throat, which relax when you sleep, constricting the passage and creating noisy air turbulence.

Strengthening the tongue muscles, however, helps the respiratory passage stay open at night, allowing for a more restful night for the wearer and those within earshot.

The eXciteOSA device is already on sale in the UK for £648 and will go on sale in the US for $750.

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Does your partner snore like a circular saw? Help may be at the ready from a device, shown in use, which can reduce sniffles by a fifth by delivering electrical currents to the wearer’s tongue

The eXciteOSA unit doesn't actually zap the wearer while they sleep as a punishment for snoring (as appealing as that sounds to some long-suffering bedmates!).  Instead, the device from London-based Signifier Medical Technologies is worn for daytime sessions and stimulates the muscles of the mouth and tongue.

The eXciteOSA unit doesn’t actually zap the wearer while they sleep as a punishment for snoring (as appealing as that sounds to some long-suffering bedmates!). Instead, the device from London-based Signifier Medical Technologies is worn for daytime sessions and stimulates the muscles of the mouth and tongue.

HOW EXCITEOSA HELPS AGAINST SNORING AND SLEEP APNEA

eXciteOSA can also help people with mild sleep apnea – a condition in which the airways can become completely blocked at night, interrupting normal breathing.

Sleep apnea, if left untreated, can increase the risk of cancer, glaucoma, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cognitive and behavioral disorders .

“We are thrilled to launch the first-ever daytime therapy for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and primary snoring,” said Akhil Tripathi, CEO and co-founder of Signifier Medical Technologies.

“Our patented smart device, eXciteOSA, not only addresses the root cause of the problem, but also requires no nighttime wearables for a peaceful night’s sleep.”

The Bluetooth-enabled, app-controlled device looks like a sort of mouth guard on a stick, and is worn to sit around the tongue, and contains four electrodes that stimulate the upper and lower surfaces of the tongue.

Snorers are encouraged to use eXciteOSA during the day for 20 minutes each day for the first six weeks, then once a week thereafter.

During each session, the electrodes stimulate the tongue muscles with a series of electrical pulses, each lasting a few seconds, with similar rest periods in between.

“The stimulation does not hurt and the patient has the ability to tune and adjust the desired level of therapy,” said a spokesperson for Signifier Medical Technologies.

The company added that eXciteOSA has already served over 2,000 users, the majority of which are in the UK.

The eXciteOSA device (pictured) from London-based Signifier Medical Technologies is worn for daytime sessions and stimulates the muscles of the mouth and tongue

The eXciteOSA device (pictured) from London-based Signifier Medical Technologies is worn for daytime sessions and stimulates the muscles of the mouth and tongue

The eXciteOSA is already on sale in the UK for £648 and will go on sale in the US for $750.  Pictured: The device in its case

Device fits around the tongue (as pictured)

The eXciteOSA is already on sale in the UK for £648 and will go on sale in the US for $750. Pictured: The device (left, in its case) fits around the tongue (as pictured, right)

The eXciteOSA tool was approved for sale to US adults as a prescription-only device earlier this month by the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

“Obstructive sleep apnea not only impacts sleep quality, but can have other serious health effects if left untreated,” said Malvina Eydelman, director of the Office of Ophthalmic Devices, Anesthesia, Respiratory, ENT and Dental FDA.

In tests, FDA experts found that a course of using the eXciteOSA device reduced snoring at levels above 40 decibels – as loud as bird calls – by more than 20% in 87 of the 115 patients.

In a subset of patients with snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea, the team noted an average reduction of 48% in the number of shallow breathing periods per hour, from 10.2 to 5.3, in 41 of 48 patients.

The Bluetooth-enabled, app-controlled device – which looks like a sort of mouthguard on a stick and is worn to sit around the tongue – contains four electrodes that stimulate the upper and lower surfaces of the tongue. Pictured: My eXciteOSA app interface

Snorers are encouraged to use eXciteOSA (pictured) during the day for 20 minutes each day for the first six weeks, then once a week thereafter.  During each session, the electrodes stimulate the tongue muscles with a series of electrical pulses, each lasting a few seconds, with similar rest periods in between.

During each session, the electrodes stimulate the muscles of the tongue (pictured) using a series of electrical pulses, each lasting a few seconds, with similar rest periods in between.

Snorers are encouraged to use eXciteOSA (left) during the day for 20 minutes each day for the first six weeks, then once a week thereafter. During each session, the electrodes stimulate the tongue muscles (right) with a series of electrical pulses, each lasting a few seconds, with similar rest periods in between.

“Today’s clearance provides a new option for thousands of people who suffer from snoring or mild sleep apnea,” added Dr Eydelman.

eXciteOSA is however not suitable for patients with pacemakers or pacing leads, implants, dental appliances, dental jewelry, metal oral prostheses, mouth ulcers or pregnant women.

Side effects seen in the FDA study included excessive drooling, tongue or tooth discomfort, tingling tongue, sensitivity to tooth filling, metallic taste, gagging, and clenched jaw.

OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the walls of a person’s throat relax and narrow during sleep, blocking the airway.

This interrupts normal breathing, with symptoms including loud snoring, noisy labored breathing, and repeated episodes when breathing is interrupted by gasping and sniffling.

OSA affects between four and 10 per cent of people in the UK. In the United States, approximately 22 million people are affected.

During an episode, the lack of oxygen triggers the patient’s brain to bring them out of deep sleep so that their airways reopen.

These repeated interruptions of sleep can make the person very tired, who often does not know what the problem is.

The risks of OSA include:

  • Being overweight – excess body fat increases soft tissue mass in the neck
  • be a man
  • Be 40 or older
  • have a big neck
  • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Being in menopause – hormonal changes cause throat muscles to relax

Treatment includes lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, if needed, and alcohol avoidance.

Additionally, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices prevent airway closure by providing a continuous supply of compressed air through a mask.

A mandibular advancement device (MAD) can also be used, which is like a gum guard that holds the jaw and tongue forward to increase space at the back of the throat.

Untreated, OSA increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and type 2 diabetes.

Source: ENM