Current sleep apnea treatments are intrusive and uncomfortable. University of Pittsburgh Professor Patrick J. Strollo has developed a “pulse generator” which, when surgically implanted, senses one’s effort to breath. It then sends pulse stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve, controlling the neck muscles that keep the airway open, preventing collapse.
Standard treatment for sleep apnea is a device called a CPAP. It is a machine that applies air pressure through a mask, which, if worn while sleeping, keeps the airway open. Many people find the masks bulky and uncomfortable, choosing instead to leave their apnea untreated.