It is estimated that up to 20% of adults in the US suffer from sleep apnea. Not only does obstructive sleep apnea interrupt breathing and disrupt sleep, but it can put you at higher risk for other serious health problems. Snoring and fatigue symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues caused by sleep apnea. Finally, there is an FDA-approved treatment for sleep apnea that does not involve wearing a mask or using an oral appliance: Inspire for sleep apnea.
What Is Inspire for Sleep Apnea?
Inspire sleep apnea treatment is the first solution that works inside the body. It is designed to regulate breathing and automatically trigger a response to open the airway while you sleep if there is an obstruction. The Inspire device is implanted in the upper chest and under the chin using 2-3 small incisions. Once the device is in place, a remote control is used to turn it on and off and adjust settings. Inspire monitors breathing and emits a stimulating sensation if breathing is interrupted, which adjusts the tongue to open the airway.
The Inspire sleep apnea surgery is completed as an outpatient procedure. Most major health insurance plans will cover Inspire, as it is an FDA-approved treatment for sleep apnea. Medicare and many veteran plans also cover the Inspire treatment. You should check with your insurance plan to see if it is covered as one of the sleep apnea treatment options.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Inspire?
Inspire was designed for people with moderate to severe sleep apnea. It is a less cumbersome treatment than a CPAP machine, which can be intrusive to anyone sleeping in the same room. Inspire sleep apnea treatment is ideal for those who are unhappy with the results from their CPAP or oral device treatment. It is not recommended for extremely obese patients with sleep apnea. To determine if a patient is a good candidate for Inspire sleep apnea treatment, an airway exam is performed by a doctor, often a sleep specialist.
Benefits of Inspire for Sleep Apnea
For some people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, Inspire can be an ideal treatment option. Many people suffer from fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, cognitive issues and snoring from their sleep apnea, but CPAP and other treatments are intrusive or not effective. Inspire for sleep apnea relief is completely different than other treatments, as it works inside the body to address the main cause of obstruction – the tongue blocking the airway. Here are some of the benefits of Inspire.
- Reduce Snoring
- According to surveys of bed partners of those who use Inspire for sleep apnea, snoring is greatly reduced. About 90% of sleep partners report quieter sleep or no snoring with the use of Inspire.
- Easier to Travel
- Traveling is not fun for sleep apnea patients with a CPAP machine. With Inspire, the device is inside the body – all you need to bring is a small remote control that fits easily in your luggage.
- No Mask or Hose
- Using a CPAP machine is not for everyone. Some people cannot become accustomed to wearing a mask and being connected to a machine by a hose while they sleep. Inspire sleep apnea treatment is non-intrusive and for many, it is a more comfortable treatment.
- The slight stimulation to the motor nerves of the tongue is not painful or uncomfortable. Inspire is designed to gently move the tongue when it blocks the airway without causing you discomfort or waking you from your sleep.
- Patient Satisfaction
- In multiple studies, patients who have used Inspire for sleep apnea have been asked about their satisfaction with their treatment. About 94% of patients say they are satisfied with Inspire and 96% say Inspire is better than using a CPAP machine and they would recommend it to others.
For many people living with sleep apnea, Inspire is a less intrusive option that can control their breathing while they sleep. The push of a button on a remote is all it takes to turn on the device before falling asleep, then another push of a button to turn it off in the morning. Maintenance is simple – your doctor will check to ensure it is working correctly once or twice a year. The device battery lasts for about 11 years and does require an outpatient procedure to replace it at that time.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea and using a CPAP machine is not desirable or effective, Inspire sleep apnea treatment may be right for you. At the push of a button, you could sleep better with less snoring and fewer sleep apnea interruptions to your breathing for better health. To learn more about Inspire for sleep apnea, contact your doctor or sleep specialist to schedule an airway exam and consultation.