Obstructive sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder caused by periodic obstruction of the upper airway. A sleep apnea is literally a pause in breathing. It can happen many times each hour while the individual is asleep. It leads to reduced oxygen saturation and is a risk factor for heart disease.

Most sufferers are unaware that they have this syndrome. It is often first noticed by the person’s sleep partner — 45 percent of the population snore while they sleep, 25 percent snore on a regular basis. Of these habitual snorers, one third of men and one fifth of women have obstructive sleep apnea.

The most common treatment is continuous positive airway pressure, called CPAP. The person wears a mask — with a tube coming out that goes to an external machine — that covers their mouth and nose. The device forces air into the person’s lungs when they are breathing in. This forces the throat tissues to remain open. It is an effective treatment but the person looks like a fighter pilot. The experience of using CPAP can be claustrophobic.

The company Airing is developing a breakthrough device by the same name. It is a micro CPAP device that is simply inserted in the nose. It is the world’s first maskless, hoseless, and cordless CPAP device. It is still being perfected and will be subject to FDA approval. However, I thought that sleep apnea sufferers would find this development of great interest. More information below.