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We all appreciate a good night’s sleep, and when we miss one, it can have repercussions throughout the day: we can’t think straight, have no energy, and it may even cause an accident if we cannot give proper attention to things like working, driving, or cooking. 

Now imagine if you can’t ever get a good night’s sleep: repeatedly waking up every night, gasping for air, unable to sleep through the night no matter how tired you are. You are so tired that you fall asleep during the day at inconvenient times: during a meeting, while driving, during meals. This state of affairs is the unpleasant reality faced by individuals with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that affects nearly one in fifteen people in the United States.

At the NWSH Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic, we understand the profound impact of sleep apnea on your health, safety, and overall quality of life. That’s why we are proud to offer the Inspire procedure, a revolutionary treatment that promises respite to those who suffer from this condition.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the individual experiences repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, occur throughout the night and can last from several seconds to a few minutes. The three primary types are:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the most common type and occurs when the muscles in the throat and tongue relax during sleep, causing the airway to close temporarily.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: This type is less common and results from a communication breakdown between the brain and the muscles that control breathing, leading to lapses in breathing during sleep.
  • Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnea: This is a combination of the types listed above.

When a person is not getting enough oxygen during sleep, the body’s survival instincts kick in, and the person wakes up. That momentary consciousness enables the person to resume breathing again. Consequently, patients with apnea often experience a night of sleeping and waking repeatedly and can never experience the deep sleep stages needed to feel rested.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Identifying sleep apnea can be challenging, but common signs and symptoms include:

  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Reports of witnessed episodes where breathing stops during sleep
  • Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or sleeping episodes
  • Difficulty staying asleep at night
  • Impaired cognitive function and attention
  • Loud and disruptive snoring


The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

The persistent nightly interruptions and shallow sleep patterns lead to chronic sleep deprivation. When a person is unable to get quality sleep, it can result in heightened health risks, including risks for:

  • High Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea is strongly associated with hypertension, which can escalate the risk of heart disease.
  • Heart Attack and Heart Disease: Those with sleep apnea are at a higher risk of heart attacks and developing heart diseases.
  • Diabetes: The disorder can contribute to the development and exacerbation of diabetes.
  • Workplace and Automobile Accidents: Daytime fatigue and impaired concentration can result in accidents at work and on the road.
  • Stroke: Individuals with sleep apnea are at a greater risk of stroke.

There Is Hope: The Inspire Procedure

Historically, treating sleep apnea involved using cumbersome and often uncomfortable devices like the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This device consists of a face mask strapped over the nose and mouth connected by a long tube to a pump that forces air into a person’s airways. Using a CPAP machine can be as unpleasant as it sounds, but it has helped many patients suffering from sleep apnea to get a full night’s sleep.

However, at Northwest Specialty Hospital’s Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) clinic, we offer a transformative solution: the Inspire procedure.

Inspire is an FDA-approved and innovative treatment that works inside your body, eliminating the need for a CPAP machine. It is composed of implants and a remote-control device. After you receive the implants in an outpatient procedure, the device is used to activate the implants. The implants deliver a gentle pulse to your tongue, periodically stimulating muscle contractions in the tongue so that the airway is kept open during sleep. Patients who have used the Inspire device report some astounding results:

  • According to bed partners, Inspire results in a 90% reduction in snoring or soft snoring.
  • More than 90% of Inspire patients report satisfaction with the treatment.
  • The use of Inspire results in almost 80% fewer sleep apnea events.
  • 96% of Inspire patients prefer Inspire over the CPAP and would recommend Inspire to others.

Because the Inspire method has been FDA-approved for nearly a decade and because of its safe and effective use since it was introduced, most insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover the Inspire procedure. 

Find Out if Inspire is Right for You

If you suffer from sleep apnea or suspect that you might, don’t let it compromise your health and quality of life any longer. At the NWSH Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic, the Inspire procedure represents a beacon of hope for those suffering from sleep apnea’s debilitating effects. Please note that Inspire may not be suitable for everyone; you will have to undergo a sleep study before being considered a candidate for Inspire. 

To find out more or schedule an appointment to diagnose whether you are a suitable candidate for Inspire, contact Northwest Specialty Hospital today.

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