Older man sleeping with sleep apnea mask

Sleep apnea treatment approved by FDA

Sleep apnea is a disorder defined by the interruption of regular breathing or obstruction of the airway during sleep, often associated with loud gasping breaths or snoring. For most with the disorder this means very little shut-eye. But, a new device to treat sleep apnea has received FDA approval.

The device is called the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation, a neurostimulator device that's similar to a pacemaker. The device is implanted into the chest and has a small generator, a sensing lead and a stimulator that are used to sense the person's breathing patterns. The device then stimulates a nerve in the airway to keep it open throughout the night, allowing the individual to breath steadily without interruption. The user also receives a remote control they use to turn the therapy on before bedtime and off in the morning.

Inspire has been approved for individuals with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea who are not able to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, an external mask that is often used by patients with the disorder.

Hany Haddad, MD, sleep specialistAccording to the National Sleep Foundation, over 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. Community Physician Network sleep medicine specialist, Dr. Hany Haddad encourages people to know the signs of sleep apnea.

"Snoring, daytime tiredness and a change in breathing patterns while asleep are the most common symptoms," said Haddad. "Having high blood pressure or heart disease are also risk factors that individuals should consider."

Haddad encourages individuals who have signs and symptoms of sleep apnea to consult a physician to discuss treatment options. 

Community Sleep Wake Services

We diagnose and help treat sleep problems and disorders in adults and children, including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome. Talk to your doctor about a referral for a sleep study, or call 800-777-7775 for more information.