Morning Mix


Mercy Health's "Inspire Therapy" treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 14:25:25-05

Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. The causes and intensity of symptoms of sleep apnea vary person to person, so it's important to be aware of the treatment options available. Fortunately, Mercy Health has a new treatment for those who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea called the Inspire Therapy.

Medical Director of Sleep Medicine Dr. Christopher Morgan stopped by to explain what sleep apnea is, what symptoms to look out for, and the technology behind new treatment options.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder, causing breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, stopping breathing during sleep, insomnia, excessive nighttime urination, awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat, morning headache, high blood pressure and nighttime sweating.

Patients should treat their sleep apnea so they don't experience daytime fatigue and sleepiness, which can increase the risk for car accidents and depression. Other side-effects of not seeking treatment are increased risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

There's no need to suffer with these symptoms, there are plenty of treatment options available for different levels of apnea:

· For milder apnea: lifestyle changes (weight loss, sleeping off your back), mouthpieces to advance the jaw (oral mandibular advancement device (OMAD)), CPAP therapy and others.

· For more severe cases: a continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP machine or surgical options including Inspire for Sleep Apnea.

A more advanced treatment Mercy Heath provides is the Inspire, a treatment developed for patients who could not use or get benefit for CPAP. Inspire is a device that works inside the body and is inserted during a short, outpatient procedure.

Before going to bed, the patient turns Inspire on with the small, handheld Inspire Sleep Remote. While the patient is asleep, Inspire delivers mild stimulation to a small nerve that controls the movement of your tongue, and simply moves it out of the way, allowing you to breathe normally. The stimulation is very gentle and designed to move the tongue forward without disturbing your sleep.

Patients who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, are unable to use or get benefit from CPAP, are not obese and are 22 or older.

To learn more about Inspire Therapy register for a Free Community Talk being held on February 18th at Mercy Health Saint Mary's. To register for the event visit