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Blog Feature

By: Kevin Asp on March 31st, 2016

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Inspire Therapy, an Alternative to the CPAP Machine

Sleep Disorders

inspire-therapy-ear-nose-throat-plastic-surgery-associates-2-638.jpgPhoto courtesy of Inspire

What is Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation Therapy?

At the AAST Spring Course we met with Debbie Kozlowski, RPSGT who has been working with patients to find alternative treatment options for those who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. 

Debbie, a sleep technologist at The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin says patients so far have found the Inspire implant to be a refreshing alternative to CPAP therapy.

"We're still learning as we are working with patients, Inspire implants are among the first of this kind of therapy, so I anticipate that there will only be more non-CPAP alternatives available for patients who cannot tolerate it," said Debbie.

What is Inspire therapy and how does it work?

As mentioned before, there are some patients who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy as a method of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.  That requires them to turn to non-CPAP options, which hasn't been the easiest path to treatment. 

Inspire therapy was introduced in 2014 as an OSA treatment method that works inside your body and with your natural breathing process.  The treatment comprises a breathing sensor and a stimulation lead that's powered by a small battery.

The device continuously monitors breathing as you sleep and delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles and gently moves the tongue and other soft tissues out of the airway so you can breathe during sleep.  The device is also easy to turn off in the morning as you wake up.

Who is Inspire therapy for?

According to Inspire therapy's manufacturer website, Inspire could work as a treatment option for the following types of patients:

  • A patient who has moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (AHI of 20 to 65)
  • A patient who is unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP
  • A patient who is not significantly overweight
  • A patient who is over the age of 22

It's recommended that an Inspire therapy-trained doctor evaluates a patient's health before making a determination of whether Inspire therapy could be an option.  Two years ago, the FDA approved Inspire implants as a recognized therapy method for patients with OSA.

Sleep technologists, is your facility using Inspire therapy as a treatment option?  If so, please email us at yha@aastweb.org to tell us about your experience!

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