Last Updated on July 23, 2016 by Tim
A pioneering medical start-up company is currently developing an innovative implant device to combat OSA.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a disturbing sleep disorder which affects around 4% of men and 2% of women. Depending on its severity, OSA can have a negative cumulative effect on your health. Alarmingly, many sufferers are undiagnosed or untreated. Up to now, measures to combat OSA have proven ineffective or have involved invasive surgery.
Nyxoah, a Belgian-Israeli medical start-up company is currently developing a tiny neurostimulation implant device to effectively treat OSA, using a quicker and far less invasive surgical procedure than is currently available.
What Is OSA?
OSA occurs at intervals throughout the night, disrupting the sleep/wake cycle. Lack of muscle tone in the throat causes the airway to collapse, preventing air from entering your lungs while you sleep and lowering oxygen levels in your blood. This lasts for about 10 seconds before your brain automatically alerts you by forcing you to wake with a loud snort or gasp. Many sufferers are not aware of doing it and are often alerted by their partners, while others find it difficult to fall back to sleep afterwards.
OSA is often associated with other sleep conditions such as snoring, sleep talking, bruxism (teeth grinding) and even violent thrashing out during the night. OSA can lead to sleep deprivation, sleepiness during the day, difficulty concentrating and even memory loss.
The lack of a constant oxygen supply to your blood can also lead to more serious long-term health problems including high blood pressure, hypertension and in extreme cases, heart problems and stroke.
There a many possible causes of OSA some of which are conditioned by lifestyle choices. It’s more common in men than women and can get worse as you get older. Risk factors include:
• Being overweight
• A larger neck (more than 43cm)
• Use of sedation medication such as sleeping tablets
• Alcohol consumption
• Nasal congestion caused by polyps
Nyxoah is a pioneering Belgian-Israeli medical start-up company committed to developing neurostimulation devices to help treat OSA and other associated sleep disorders. Working closely with leading sleep disorder experts, Nyxoah has developed a simple, safe and effective device to combat OSA.
Simple, Safe, Effective
The implant is a tiny neurostimulator, 20mm in diameter and 2.5mm thick. The device is implanted under the chin and is activated by a disposable battery operated patch that is applied under the chin every evening. The device stimulates the tongue muscles while you sleep, therefore preventing airway blockage and disruption to the oxygen flow.
The implant procedure only takes 45 minutes to perform and the device is currently less invasive than any others on the market.
Award Winning Innovation
The simplicity and efficacy of this tiny implant device together with its lower manufacturing costs and ease of use is a major technological breakthrough in the treatment of OSA. Nyxoah was the proud recipient of the New Product Innovation Leadership Award in 2014, awarded by business consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan. Since then, Nyxoah has received €18.2 million in funding by private investors and government incentives.
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