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FDA Approved Breakthrough Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute defines sleep apnea as a chronic condition resulting in pauses or shallow breathing during sleep. If left untreated sleep apnea can result in other health concerns. Common therapies for sleep apnea included Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral appliances, anatomical surgeries, and lifestyle modifications. Adherence to CPAP can be challenging for most clients and often results in non-compliance. Fortunately, the FDA recently approved Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) – An implantable nerve stimulator that detects breathing patterns and keeps the airway open during sleep.

The FDA shares a clinical study on Inspire noting, “The Inspire UAS therapy provided the majority of patients with significant reductions in the severity of their obstructive sleep apnea and improvements in their quality of life… Inspire UAS therapy patients also experienced at least a 25% reduction in oxygen desaturation index.” These clinical findings offer clients a promising treatment option for sleep apnea.

The procedure for using Inspire is quite simple. The physician programs the settings and surgically implants the device. Through an external remote the client turns therapies "on" and "off" as accommodates his or her sleep schedule. The FDA comments on the Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG) feature of Inspire, “The IPG detects the patient's breathing pattern and maintains an open airway with mild stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve, which controls tongue movement, during inhaled breathing.” This feature helps keep airways open during sleep, promoting restfulness and better quality of life. Inspire may not be recommended for clients with implantable devices as such devices can interact with the intended therapy. Share any sleep apnea questions or concerns with your physician to determine suitable treatment options for your individual health needs.

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.

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Yeneilyn is a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida since 2006. Her nursing practice began in the field of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital and expanded to care for clients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She was provided the opportunity as LPN Instructor, which changed the course of her nursing career. She states, “Teaching nursing students expanded my view on positive influences nurses contribute beyond beside care. Nurses are central leaders in health education, client advocacy, and disease prevention.” Currently, Yeneilyn writes health articles and prepares Continuing Education (C.E.) courses for healthcare professionals. She continues her studies in the field of Nursing Education and evidenced-based nursing practice. In her free time she enjoys sharing time with family and friends.

For questions or topics of interest contact Nurse Yenny at:    




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