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Meeting the Airing: The Latest Sleep Apnea Invention


CPAP machine

Nearly 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea at any given time, and there isn't much one can do to completely get rid of it. One of the most effective ways to temporarily treat sleep apnea is with a CPAP machine.

However, those machines can be quite bulky and, to be honest, a little embarrassing if you have to share a bed with someone; they often remind people of being in a hospital instead of their own bedroom. No wonder studies show that half of people prescribed a CPAP machine stop using it after the first one to three weeks. Yet sleep apnea is a big deal, and if left untreated, those affected are three times more likely to develop heart disease.

So what is one supposed to do? Apparently a new product in the works in Boston, Massachusetts will ease the embarrassment.

According to a recent Yahoo! News article, there is a prototype for a micro CPAP machine that will change sleep apnea forever. Called Airing, this micro machine is battery-operated and disposable. It comes sans cords, hoses, and straps -- which is something even the best CPAP mask can't brag about. The device weighs in at less than one ounce and to wear it, simply insert it into the nostrils. Just like music earbuds, the Airing has nose buds that fit comfortably.

This revolutionary sleep apnea mask is currently awaiting additional funding, yet since June 15 the campaign has received $537,262.

One of the most interesting aspects of the device is that it is disposable. This may lead to an outcry of not being environmentally conscious on the production side, but it will at least keep costs low for the consumer. Coming in at around $3 per machine and to be disposed of after a single eight hour sleep cycle, it's hard to find a better deal -- especially when the other options include cords, lights, and massive masks. So far, sleep apnea sufferers are excited to get their hands on the new invention.

"Most patients would rather not use these [larger] machines whether that's because of aesthetic or physical reasons. It can feel like going to bed with Darth Vader," said James MacFarlane, PhD, Director of Education and Clinical Consultant at MedSleep. "That's why we need to make sure it's making them feel better and give the CPAP an honest chance."

Currently, the Airing is waiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S., yet donations can still be made online to their funding campaign.