An astonishing 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when the muscles in the back of the throat collapse and causes you to stop breathing while you sleep. As you can tell, it's kind of problematic!

The typical treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a CPAP machine. CPAP machines give you continuous air pressure. Unfortunately, the machine can be a little loud for some people and others can't stand the hose and mouthpiece. Many patients, almost 50%, can't stand it so they don't use it, even though they need it.

Lucky for those people, a company in Maple Grove has developed a new way to treat sleep apnea! It's an implant, called Inspire. Inspire is implanted just below the skin and is turned on before you go to bed by a remote. While you're asleep if Inspire senses your breathing has slowed down it sends an electrical pulse to the tongue which triggers the airway to open back up.

The main side effect: a sore tongue.

Other than this implant being smaller and obviously quieter than a CPAP, it's also really easy to transport. You could easily go on a hike and all you have to bring is the remote rather than a large machine. This sounds really interesting! Do you think this new treatment could replace CPAPs? Check out this interview done by Kare 11 with Slade Winchester, who suffers from sleep apnea and now uses Inspire.

Source: Kare 11