Sleep apnea can affect not only your sleep but your overall quality of life as well. After an accurate diagnosis by a board-certified ENT physician, finding a treatment that's right for you is an integral step in learning how to live with and manage your sleep apnea.
Here's everything you need to know about Inspire Implants as a form of treatment for sleep apnea.
What is an Inspire Implant?
Affecting approximately 10% of the middle-aged adult population, sleep apnea is a serious disorder that results in intermittent pauses in your breathing while asleep.
Treatments for sleep apnea can range from lifestyle and dietary changes to the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and surgical procedures such as nasal surgery to fix a deviated septum.
CPAP use has been one of the only means of improving these patients' sleep experience and health up until recently.
The Inspire Implant is an innovative form of treating sleep apnea developed in the past decade. This FDA-approved device makes use of upper airway stimulation therapy to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea who are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine.
How Does an Inspire Implant Work?
Inspire is a medical device that's surgically implanted just below your clavicle and works as an upper airway stimulator.
A wire goes from the Inspire Implant to your lungs to detect your regular pattern of breathing, while another wire sends signals to stimulate the hypoglossal nerve, which is responsible for controlling the muscles of your throat to keep your airway open.
A small remote controls the entire Inspire Implant system—you'll be given instructions on how to turn it on when it's time to sleep and turn it off during the day.
Is Treatment with an Inspire Implant Right for You?
An Inspire Implant may be suitable for you if you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and do not find relief from CPAP. In addition, Inspire is ideal for patients with:
- Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
- A healthy weight
- 18 years or older
- No underlying medical conditions that would make surgery a risk
Inspire Implants Treatments are Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified ENT Doctor
The device is installed during a surgical procedure, and then there is a month of healing time that must elapse. The device is then activated, and patients are educated on its use. A hand-held remote is used to control the impulse generator. Patients are required to self-titrate stimulation over the course of a month.
The Inspire Implant has been known to cause minimal side effects, including:
- Temporary pain at incision sites
- Tongue weakness or soreness
For most patients, these side effects diminished within the first few weeks post-surgery. Inspire Implants can improve your quality of life and help you get a night of restful sleep if you experience sleep apnea—schedule an appointment with a board-certified ENT physician to see if Inspire is right for you.