New nasal implant aims to eliminate snoring and improve sleep

For many people snoring can be an annoyance, but for others it can lead to sleep apnea and serious health problems. But there's a new treatment that aims to change that.

A new treatment that just arrived in San Antonio that aims to help people that struggle with snoring, which can cause major health problems.

Robert Demel, 54, has been singing for over 30 years and he's been snoring even longer.

"I was hit with a baseball when I was younger and just always had trouble. I tried breathing strips and everything but it never worked," Demel said.

It affected his sleep, which impacted his day-to-day activities as well. Demel said,

"Very lethargic, tired constantly, all day long, wake up, eight, nine, 10 times a night," Demel said.

He tried a CPAP machine but it made him feel claustrophobic.

"I wanted to do something other than the machine because that was just temporary overnight," he said.

"Patients really want to live life to the fullest and part of the medical problem of airway obstruction and sleep apnea is it depresses you and keeps you down," said Dr. Jose Barrera, a clinical professor with Uniform Services and the university medical director for the Texas Center for Facial Plastic and Laser Surgery.

Dr. Jose Barrera thought Demel would be the perfect candidate for the Latera implant.

"It's made out of a polymer, and the polymer is dissolvable after two years but it's designed to leave a collagen track," Dr. Barrera explained.

Your body absorbs the implant, leaving behind that collagen track, which supports nasal breathing by supporting the sidewalls of the nose.

"In a week after the implant is placed, most patients feel like they could breathe better," Dr. Barrera noted.

That was certainly the case for Demel.

"I sleep pretty much throughout the night now," Demel said.

The implant didn't just improve his sleep, but hit all the right notes during his waking hours too. Demel said,

"I can breathe better, I can hold notes longer, I'm not as exhausted," Demel explained.

To find out more about the Latera implant, click here.
To learn more about Dr. Barrera click here.
To learn more about Robert Demel click here.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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