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Published on July 12, 2018

woman sleeping

New treatment may be good for your sleep apnea and your heart

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition that can contribute to heart disease—including an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and heart attack—stroke, accidents (due to tiredness) and even premature death.

OSA occurs when the tongue and throat muscles relax during sleep. When the airway becomes blocked or narrowed breathing can stop for several seconds. The drop in oxygen triggers the brain to start waking to resume breathing, often with a loud snort or gasp. These frequent interruptions in deep restorative sleep can affect your health.

Inspire Therapy offers new option

Treatment for sleep apnea is often a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine which uses mild air pressure, delivered through a mask, to keep the airways open. But if conservative treatments like CPAP have failed to relieve your OSA, you may be a candidate for a new treatment now available at Gundersen Health System: Inspire® Therapy.

This implanted device mildly stimulates your hypoglossal nerve, which controls the movement of your tongue and other muscles, to keep your airway open while you sleep. With a small handheld remote you can turn Inspire on before bed and off when you wake up. You can also pause the device at night if needed, putting you in total control of your sleep apnea and allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed.

If you have not found relief from OSA with CPAP and other conservative treatments, call Gundersen Sleep Medicine at (608) 775-REST (7378) to see if Inspire is right for you.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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