Exhausted? It might be sleep apnea

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 20 million people in the United States are living with undiagnosed moderate to severe sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles occasionally relax and block your airway during sleep. The condition affects men and women of all ages. Yet many people do not seek or receive the treatment they need.

One of the most noticeable signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud snoring. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include feeling constantly tired, frequent headaches, dry mouth and even depression.

“Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, memory loss and depression,” said Glen Porter, MD, an otolaryngologist at Intermountain Healthcare American Fork Specialty Clinic.

The two main types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea (the most common) and central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs because your brain isn’t sending proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. This condition differs from obstructive sleep apnea, in which you cannot breathe normally due to an upper airway obstruction. Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments
Treatments may include lifestyle changes, such as B. Losing weight or changing sleeping position, use of medical devices such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, oral machines, or surgery.

The surgery may include implantation of the Inspire device, which is an FDA-approved treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea for those who cannot use CPAP.

Inspire works with the body’s natural anatomy to treat the root cause of sleep apnea. It’s a small device that’s implanted just under the skin. Once placed, the device monitors breathing and sends a gentle pulse with each breath taken by the patient to move the tongue out of the airway. Moving the tongue during sleep keeps the airways open, allowing the patient to breathe freely throughout the night.

Patients use a small wearable sleep remote to turn their device on before they go to sleep and turn it off when they wake up.

The same-day outpatient procedure allows patients to return to their daily lives without a long recovery. After the device is implanted, patients work with their sleep specialists to adjust the device’s settings to their unique breathing patterns to ensure they are comfortable and getting the sleep they need.

Who qualifies for Inspire?

  • CPAP therapy has failed
  • Have a body mass index of 32 or less
  • Stop breathing between 15 and 65 times an hour
  • And have an airway that closes in the right place

“We have seen a significant improvement in quality of life, allowing patients to enjoy their usual activities without feeling sleepy during the day,” said Dr. Porter. “We see so many patients struggling with sleep apnea. It’s an incredible feeling to show them that there is hope.”

Not everyone is suitable for Inspire sleep therapy. “The best thing to do is talk to your doctor about the best option based on the severity of your sleep apnea,” advised Dr. Porter.

Contact the Intermountain American Fork Specialty Clinic for more information or to schedule an evaluation regarding Inspire procedures and sleep issues.

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