How Does the eXciteOSA® Therapy Actually Work?

eXciteOSA Therapy

By Signifier Medical Technologies|6th October 2021

The eXciteOSA therapy is a novel therapy that targets the root cause of mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. The reason eXciteOSA is novel is that it’s something that you do during the day as opposed to other remedies and treatments, which you must wear at night. This advancement is another tool in the toolkit for better nights’ sleep.


It All Starts with the Root Cause

The root cause of mild OSA and snoring is all about your tongue. During sleep, the tongue muscles (and throat as well) relax. This relaxation causes the tongue to partially block our upper airway. The sound you recognize as snoring is the vibrations in the soft tissue in the mouth and throat as you breathe.

Loud snoring is often the first sign of a serious medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea.


Poor Sleep Leads to Poor Health

Mild obstructive sleep apnea causes the sleeper’s breathing to start and stop during the night. Most of the time, the sleeper is unaware of this and it’s usually a partner who brings it to their attention. Night after night of this interrupted sleep and breathing can lead to all sorts of health problems including diabetes, hypertension, and strokes. It also makes the sufferer from obstructive sleep apnea feel tired and “foggy” during the day.

Many of our mild OSA patients have gone through the struggles that come with interrupted sleep, but thanks to eXciteOSA, they now wake up feeling refreshed and have the energy to be alert all day long. 


Why Nighttime Methods Can be Cumbersome

To determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea, you are enrolled in a sleep study where you wear a device to bed to determine your Apnea-Hypopnea Index, which is a measure of how severe your obstructive sleep apnea may be. Once this is determined, the usual treatment is to get a CPAP machine.

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure that is worn at night while you sleep. The goal of the CPAP machine is to keep your airway open by blowing air into it. The pressure of the air varies depending on how blocked your airway gets.

This method along with Neti pot rinsing, chin straps, nasal strips, and Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) are all devices that are worn at night. While effectiveness varies, the challenge always lies in the cumbersome nature of having to sleep all night with them.

In the case of CPAP, the pressurized air can lead to stomach gas, dry mouth, and nasal infections. While those outcomes vary from person to person, the simple fact remains that they tackle the symptom of the problem (keeping the airway open) as opposed to the root cause (preventing the tongue from collapsing).


The Challenge of Addressing This Root Cause

While nighttime devices are effective, they do not fix the root cause of the problem. For mild OSA and snoring, many methods can prove to be tricky since the tongue needs to be prevented from falling back and blocking the upper airway. 

Since the tongue is a muscle, it should be able to get stronger with exercise — like the muscles in your arms and legs. The problem is how do you exercise your tongue? It’s easy to lift weights or run, but the tongue is inside your mouth. Even still, some exercises that might work would take a lot of training and effort that some people could not do.

Muscles use electrical energy to contract, and this electrical energy takes form through a message that is sent from our brain instructing a particular muscle to contract. Similarly, eXciteOSA emits electro-stimulation to your tongue, and this electrical energy causes the tongue to increase its level of endurance. 

This kind of electro-stimulation is not brand-new technology. It has been proven to work on people in wheelchairs so that their muscles don’t atrophy, in pelvic floor stimulation, and many other devices. 


A Daily Workout for Your Tongue

The 20-minute a day for 6 weeks initial therapy uses electro-stimulation to exercise your tongue muscles. This daily workout improves the endurance of your tongue so that during sleep, it’s less likely to fall back into the upper airway.

Just like when a marathon runner goes for a jog to train for a race, eXciteOSA therapy has a similar effect on your tongue. Every 20-minute therapy you complete, you are conditioning your tongue a little bit more so you can achieve optimal tongue endurance. By increasing its endurance, your tongue will have the ability to stay alert throughout the entire night, rather than falling back into the upper airway. This innovative way to address the root cause of mild OSA and snoring during the day makes it simple and easy for anyone to get peaceful, refreshing sleep. 


Clinically Proven Results

The eXciteOSA therapy has been FDA authorized for the treatment of mild OSA and snoring. The results of our studies show that 79% of patients show reductions in their obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, 90% of patients had reduced snoring times, and 89% of partners of those patients reported a reduction in snoring by their partner. 

While results will vary from person to person, the significance of the results is encouraging. By exercising the tongue while you’re awake, you can improve the quality of your sleep without the cumbersome nighttime gadgets that can be hard to use consistently.


Another Tool in the Better Sleep Ecosystem Toolbox

The eXciteOSA therapy is one more tool in the toolbox for doctors and dentists to use to help their patients get a better night’s sleep. Those who suffer from mild OSA and snoring deserve to have multiple options possible to help them sleep better. Quality sleep should be at everyone’s disposal, it should not have to be a luxury. 

While eXciteOSA is a revolutionary step in reducing mild OSA and snoring, it is not the only thing that will help you achieve your optimal sleep quality. Implementing sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes are also essential to building upon the incredible results that eXciteOSA delivers. By targeting mild OSA and snoring in a comprehensive way, those who suffer from mild OSA and snoring will have the best possible chance to achieve a better night’s sleep.

How to get eXciteOSA

Are you a candidate for eXciteOSA therapy?

I need a prescription

If you haven’t got a prescription for sleep apnea you will first need to take a home sleep test.

I have a prescription

Our partner providers will help you order your device so you can start your therapy.