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Obstructive Sleep Apnea – It’s a Bigger Problem Than You Think

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Written By Sanjay Athavale, M.D.

Millions of Americans are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, “OSA”, and many have no idea.  OSA is a potentially life-threatening condition that involves the airway closing off while a person sleeps. The most common symptoms of OSA are:

  • Daytime tiredness
  • Waking up feeling unrested
  • Frequent napping
  • Falling asleep at the wheel while driving
  • Daytime headaches

Patients with OSA can be diagnosed through a simple home sleep study, which counts the number of times a person stops or slows their breathing while sleeping. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, “CPAP”, is the gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea, however, many patients can’t tolerate the CPAP mask.

At North Atlanta ENT & Allergy, we offer the latest technology in treating snoring and sleep apnea. North Atlanta ENT & Allergy provides patients with various surgical and non-surgical alternatives including oral appliances, the Inspire Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator Hyoid suspension, direct tongue base reduction, palate/tonsil surgery, pillar implants, hyoid suspension and direct tongue base resection.

One of these new technological breakthroughs is Inspire Sleep Therapy, an implantable treatment option for people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea who are unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP. While you’re sleeping, Inspire monitors every breath you take. Based on your unique breathing patterns, the system delivers mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve, which controls the movement of your tongue and other key airway muscles. By stimulating these muscles, the airway remains open during sleep.

The Inspire obstructive sleep apnea device is controlled by a small handheld sleep remote. This device allows you to turn Inspire therapy on before bed and off when you wake up, increase and decrease stimulation strength, and pause during the night if needed.

In 2010, the STAR clinical trial, which involves 126 Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) patients across the United States and Europe, began to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Inspire Sleep Therapy. One-year STAR Trial results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine1 in January 2014, and Inspire therapy received approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April of that year.

Long-term STAR Trial outcomes show that sleep apnea patients receiving Inspire therapy experienced significant and sustained reductions in sleep apnea events and significant improvements in both quality of life and daytime functioning*, as measured by various questionnaires.

To find out more about diagnosing and treating OSA, please stop in and see us at NAENTA or click here to schedule an appointment.

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