Published on May 25, 2022

Inspire Therapy Can Provide Peace for Sleep Apnea Sufferers … and Their Partners

Some 25 million Americans go to sleep at night and don’t realize they may stop breathing 15 to 65 times an hour. They are victims of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), and it’s about as dangerous as it sounds. 

Rajeev Mehta
Dr. Rajeev Mehta

OSA occurs when soft tissues in the airway collapse during sleep and block the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain senses a lack of oxygen and wakes the body up just long enough to take a breath, then the body falls back asleep.  

This cycle repeats throughout the night and causes poor, disruptive sleep. When left untreated, OSA can cause vehicle and workplace accidents, worsening mood and memory, stroke, heart attack and even death. 

For years, said Dr. Rajeev Mehta, a board-certified otolaryngologist at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, the only options were surgery to remove the obstruction, which didn’t always provide relief, or prescribing a home CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. 

Now, there is another procedure called Inspire Therapy, and Dr. Mehta will be conducting a virtual webinar at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15. 

Dr. Mehta said the 50 percent of those who have been prescribed a CPAP but don’t use them should especially find the program insightful. 

“Some people are claustrophobic; they can’t wear anything covering their faces. Others find the entire apparatus cumbersome and uncomfortable making it more difficult to sleep.” 

Dr. Mehta was intrigued when he heard about Inspire Therapy, a procedure that would allow those with OSA to do away with the masks, while getting the airflow their bodies need for a healthy, good night’s sleep.  

Inspire Therapy works inside the body with a patient’s natural breathing process to treat sleep apnea. The Inspire device system, implanted during a 1 ½-hour surgery, delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, allowing the airway to open during sleep.  

The patient uses a small handheld remote to turn Inspire on before bed and off when they wake up. The device is adjustable, even in the middle of the night.  

“My first patient was about six months ago. He told me he hasn’t slept eight hours so soundly in years.” 

While Dr. Mehta notes Inspire Therapy may not work for everyone, studies show 85 percent of bed partners reported hearing no snoring or just soft snoring.   

Inspire, which takes about four months to fully activate between healing from surgery and programming, is covered by most major insurance providers, as well as Medicare reimbursement and VA benefits at select locations.  

To be a candidate, Dr. Mehta said OSA sufferers must have been diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, cannot use or get constant benefit from a CPAP, are not significantly obese (BMI 35 or less), and must be 18 years or older.  

“I am excited about Inspire Therapy, and I encourage OSA sufferers to attend the virtual webinar on June 15. It could make life much better for them and their partners.” 

Click here to register for the June 15 Zoom webinar. Learn more at inspiresleep.com. 

If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, contact the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center at 815-300-REST (7378). The Center can provide you with comprehensive testing, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. 

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.