Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be difficult to live with even if you use a CPAP machine when you sleep. Not only can CPAP machines be uncomfortable, but for some patients, they don’t relieve the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
If you have OSA and a CPAP is ineffective in treating it, you may be qualified for an alternative treatment. A new treatment option for OSA patients is an implantable device called Inspire.
Inspire helps keep your airways unobstructed while you’re sleeping. If you’re looking for CPAP alternatives in the Chicago area, know that Inspire Sleep Therapy is available right here at Chicago ENT.
How Does Inspire Work?
Inspire is a device that’s implanted in your body during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. It consists of the main device with two sensors connected to the main device.
The device is implanted under the skin on your upper chest. The sensors are then implanted under the skin on your lower chest and right under the chin.
At night, you’ll turn on the device using a remote. Once turned on, the sensors tell the main device each time you take a breath.
It sends out a gentle impulse to the upper sensor that stimulates a muscle that controls your tongue. This allows the device to ensure your tongue moves out of the way while you’re sleeping so your airway remains unobstructed.
The muscle that Inspire stimulates is the hypoglossal nerve, which controls the muscle movements of the tongue. You’ll often develop OSA when the tongue blocks your airways while you’re sleeping.
Having Inspire will signal your tongue to move where it needs to every time you breathe in.
How Will I Know if Inspire Is Right for Me?
Inspire is for patients with moderate to severe OSA. Before you can even be assessed for Inspire, you need an official Obstructive Sleep Apnea diagnosis, if you haven’t already received one.
You can undergo a sleep study here at Chicago ENT to make sure your issues are due to having OSA. This also may be a requirement for your insurance to approve having treatment.
Once you have an official diagnosis, there are other requirements you’ll have to meet. These include:
- Being 18 years old or older
- Having a BMI under 32
- Being unable to use a CPAP or receive effective treatment from a CPAP or other positive airway pressure device
If you meet these requirements, your doctor can then give you a drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE). This is a non-surgical exam that takes about 20 minutes to complete.
Your doctor will give you medication to put you to sleep and then use a camera to look at your airway to see how it opens and closes while you sleep. If everything looks the way it should, your doctor will let you know if Inspire Sleep Therapy is the right treatment for you!
Is Sleeping with Inspire Uncomfortable?
During the day, patients report that they can’t even feel the Inspire device. Inspire is not activated during the day.
It’s only activated before you go to sleep at night. When it’s activated at night, most report feeling the gentle pulse, but this isn’t uncomfortable.
Since the device stimulates your hypoglossal muscle, it doesn’t hurt or feel like an electric shock would. The device also makes it easier for you to sleep since it helps you breathe better. Patients report sleeping through the night without feeling anything.
Many patients need help sleeping beyond only using a CPAP machine. Wondering if Inspire could be something worth considering? Schedule an appointment at Chicago ENT in Chicago, IL to learn more!