Snoring and sleep apnea can have a real effect on a person’s health, but a new device can offer help and a good night’s sleep!

Irwin Lablonge has had trouble sleeping for seven years

“My symptoms are waking up throughout the night, snoring that became more severe,” Lablonge said.

Sleeping tests showed Irwin was suffering from sleep apnea, a condition where a person stops breathing while sleeping.

That can put a person in danger of serious complications.

“Increased risk of developing heart attack and stroke, and sudden death during sleep,” Dr. Heather Davis-Kingston said.

At first Irwin was prescribed a c-pap mask which pushes air into the airways using high pressure.

“It was more trouble than it was worth,” Irwin said.

Because of discomfort and cumbersome tubes, more than 50 percent of people never use the mask or stop using it within a few months.

Now there’s a new device.

It’s implanted using three tiny incisions for a battery pack, an electrode and a sensor.

Once the device is in place, it senses the patient’s breathing and triggers a number of steps.

“At that time it sends a signal to the battery to stimulate the tongue to move it forward so the patient is able to continue to breathe normally,” Dr. Ryan F. Osborne said.

Shortly after the procedure Irwin was tested again.

“He had at least 75 percent fewer episodes where he stopped breathing. Having a device like this will save lives,” Davis-Kingston said.

It’s already changed his life.

“When I wake up in the morning, I can just tell how much better I feel when I get out of bed. I’ve slept so much better,” Irwin said.

Not all people who snore have sleep apnea and not all sleep apnea patients snore, but if you are tired during the day you should get checked.

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