Inspire For Sleep Apnea - What Is It & How It Works

Inspire is a new treatment for sleep apnea that uses upper airway stimulation (UAS) to open your airway during sleep. This treatment is especially a great option for people with severe obstructive sleep apnea who cannot use or do not respond well to continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your key airway muscles intermittently relax and collapse during sleep, blocking your airway. This causes you to snore and can also cause pauses in your breathing. These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and can happen multiple times each night.

The device senses when you start to sleep and delivers mild stimulation to keep your airway open to simulate your natural breathing process. Inspire is the only FDA-approved UAS therapy and has been proven to be safe and effective in clinical studies. If you are considering Inspire therapy, you will need to consult with a sleep specialist to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure.

how does inspire work for sleep apnea

What Is Inspire For Sleep Apnea?

Who Is Eligible For Inspire therapy?

  • People with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Patients who can not use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This also includes those who have used CPAP but do not get consistent benefits and recovery.

  • Patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of under 32 to 35 points or less

  • Age 18+

  • Pass an airway exam (Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy or DISE)

How It Works

The Inspire sleep apnea device is implanted under the skin in the chest and connects to the nerve stimulator that controls the tongue.

These work together to monitor your breathing patterns and deliver gentle pulsations to the hypoglossal nerve that controls your tongue’s movement. The stimulation forces your tongue forward to the front of the mouth. This clears the airway so that you can breathe more effectively. Though the device is implanted in your body, it only functions when you turn it on before bed using the accompanying remote.

Implantation Process

The implantation process for the Inspire sleep apnea device is very similar to that of a pacemaker. A small generator is implanted under the skin in your chest and connected to the breathing sensor lead and stimulation lead that are then passed through your veins and into your airway.

The surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes about two hours and is usually performed under general anesthesia. You could be likely asked to stay in the hospital overnight for observation and will be able to go home the next day.

After 4 weeks, you will return to the doctor’s office to have the device turned on and programmed. You'll be required to perform a post-operative sleep study to ensure proper and effective stimulation.

Benefits of Inspire Therapy Obstructive Sleep Apnea

There are many benefits to using Inspire therapy for sleep apnea, including:

Personalized Treatment.

With inspire, you can tailor your therapy to your specific sleep needs. The device is programmed to deliver the right amount of stimulation based on your individual breathing patterns.

Improved Quality of Life.

Sleep apnea and snoring can cause fatigue and sleepiness during the day, leading to accidents and decreased productivity at work or school. Inspire therapy can help improve your quality of life by reducing excessive daytime sleepiness and improving your overall sleep quality.

Complete Control

The inspire sleep apnea innovation therapy device has a remote to turn inspire on and off. This gives you the ability to control your therapy and ensure that you are getting the most benefit from it.

Little to no snoring

One of the most common complaints from sleep apnea sufferers is loud snoring. Inspire therapy can help to reduce or eliminate snoring by keeping your airway open during sleep. More than 90% of sleep partners report soft or no snoring after starting using the inspire device.


If you are struggling with sleep apnea, Inspire therapy may be a good treatment option. The procedure is safe and effective and can help you get the peaceful, restful sleep you need. Consult with a sleep specialist to see if you are a good candidate for Inspire therapy and start enjoying the benefits of this life-changing treatment today.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What are the dangers of Inspire?

Like any surgery, there are potential risks involved with the implantation of Inspire. These include but are not limited to infection, bleeding, dry mouth, bruising, headaches and tingling along with a sore tongue (which is usually temporary). However, serious implant-related complications are very rare and occur in less than one percent of patients.

Caution; If you have Inspire therapy, it's important to avoid MRI scans. The strong magnetic fields in MRI scanners can damage the components of the Inspire medical systems and cause tissue damage. It's best to talk to your doctor about alternative imaging technologies such as CT, ultrasound or others that may be suitable for you.

How good is inspire for sleep apnea?

The results of multiple clinical studies (1) showed that people who used Inspire for sleep apnea had significant reductions in their Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI); that is, sleep apnea events and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) scores, as well as experienced improvements in their quality of life.

Does inspire work as well as CPAP?

Inspire sleep apnea treatment has proven to be more effective than a CPAP machine in reducing sleep apnea symptoms (AHI) and is an option for people who cannot use or do not respond well to CPAP therapy.

Does inspire limit my activities?

No. You should be able to do everything you normally do, including exercise, after getting Inspire therapy. Many people find that their overall quality of life improves after starting treatment with Inspire. However, you might have to avoid strenuous activities like weight lifting for some time. You can always consult with your inspire-trained medical doctor about what you can safely do.

How long does it take to get used to the Inspire device?

It usually takes a few weeks, one or two, to get used to the Inspire device. However, some people may experience immediate results. It is important to follow the instructions of your sleep specialist and give yourself time to adjust to the new therapy.

Does Insurance cover Inspire?

Most major insurance providers cover the cost of Inspire therapy. However, it is important to check with your insurance provider to determine coverage and eligibility.


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