File photo of Cinzia Cuneo, a sleep apnea patient, wearing an oxygen mask that she needs to wear when she sleeps.
A tiny device placed under the skin can relieve a type of chronic snoring that can double the risk of death, according to researchers.
The matchbox-sized implant can regulate breathing throughout the night to combat central sleep apnea, where sufferers temporarily stop breathing as they sleep. A study looking at patients with heart failure, for whom central sleep apnea can double the risk of dying, found that the device was effective at regulating breathing.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a mask delivering pressurised air to the sleeper in order to keep the airway open. However, this does not work in all cases and some people cannot sleep wearing the mask.
Early results of an ongoing study using the new device, called Remede, were presented at the Heart Failure Congress in Athens.