MADISON (MedStar) -- Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that leaves patients gasping for breath many times during the night.
For those with positional sleep apnea, a new belt may be the solution to a healthier night's sleep.
David Allen knows exactly what his wife's been living with for years.
He said, "And sometimes it would get louder."
And it got worse when he rolled onto his back.
Allen also said, "my wife would tell me from time to time that I would actually stop breathing. And she would wake me up and tell me to get off my back and turn to my side."
His wife wasn't the only one who noticed.
His daughter set up the appointment to see if his snoring was something more.
Doctor Samuel Krachman said, "in David's case, he was found to have obstructive sleep apnea, mostly when he was in the supine or lying on his back position."
David started wearing the traditional CPAP mask to treat it.
But because his apnea was worse when he slept on his back, he also agreed to test out this belt.
It's called Zzoma.
Doctor Krachman added, "it will effectively keep them on their side and it's a hard foam so they can't roll on it at all. They'd be like a turtle, you know, perched back otherwise and, and it's really almost impossible to get on their back."
22 patients with positional sleep apnea have been studied so far, David included.
"We know from the study that it will work initially and there's no reason to believe that if he just continues to use it, as directed, that it will you know treat his sleep apnea just as CPAP would," Doctor Krachman added.
Doctor Krachman hopes to study a few more people with positional sleep apnea before applying to the FDA for approval.
In the meantime, David's getting a good night's rest.
Early results were presented at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's national meeting.
The Zzoma is already approved for snoring.