Skip to main content
Book Appointment

«  View All Posts

Inspire Sleep Apnea Device for the Treatment of Sleep Apnea

May 11th, 2022 | 4 min. read

By John D Edwards, MD

Obstructive sleep apnea can be a serious health concern if left untreated. It can result in an increase in the risk of heart attack, diabetes, stroke, memory loss, and other serious diseases. Lack of sleep can cause daytime drowsiness, making you susceptible to injuries and automobile accidents.

Interested in learning more about inspire sleep apnea device therapy and if its right for you?

With ten convenient locations in Houston, Texas, many of these locations provide Inspire Sleep Apnea Device therapy as an option to treat your OSA. Schedule an appointment today to see if this therapy is right for you!


While several treatments are currently available for obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most commonly used treatment.

In CPAP treatment, a mask and hose are used to force a continuous stream of air through your airways to keep them open for easier breathing.

If you struggle with obstructive sleep apnea and cannot use CPAP as a treatment option, you can use Inspire sleep therapy to relieve OSA symptoms.


What is the Inspire Sleep Apnea Device?

Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation is an FDA-supported treatment with an implanted device and a patient remote. Inspire sleep therapy can be used as a second-line treatment to help reduce moderate to severe symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in patients. It is effective in patients whose apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) lies between 15 and 65.

Recent research found that using Inspire therapy in OSA patients led to a significant reduction in the OSA symptoms, including,

  • Improvement in daytime functioning
  • Decrease in daytime drowsiness
  • Reduction in AHI by 79%
  • Reduction of snoring in OSA patients


How Does the Inspire Sleep Device Work?

Inspire sleep therapy works through a small device placed inside the body during a same-day outpatient procedure. The implant device is inserted under the skin through a 2 to 3-hour procedure. Most patients can go back home the same day.

The procedure requires two incisions:

  • First, in the upper right chest where the device is inserted;
  • Then, under your chin, where the hypoglossal nerve is located.

The implanted device, when turned on, delivers mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve that controls the movement of the tongue and other surrounding muscles.

When the patient gets ready for bed, they can use a remote to turn the device on.

The Inspire device opens the airways during sleep, helping the patient breathe freely and improving their sleep quality.

Interested in learning more about the Inspire Sleep Apnea Device?


New call-to-action


Benefits of Inspire Sleep 

The benefits of using an Inspire sleep device are as follows:

Outpatient procedure:

Unlike other surgeries, the Inspire device can be inserted within the body using a non-invasive procedure. It can be done on the same-day outpatient procedure and is painless and effective.

Helps in opening the airway:

When inserted within your body, the Inspire device can help reduce OSA symptoms by removing blockages and opening up the airways, making breathing easier.

Reduction in sleep apnea events:

Patients were found to realize a 79% reduction in sleep apnea events.

High user satisfaction rate:

94% of users were found to be satisfied with Inspire, and would recommend it to others.


Health Risks Using Inspire Therapy

Although Inspire therapy is FDA approved, non-invasive process that is considered safe for treating OSA symptoms, you can have specific health risks like the following:

  • Weakness and abrasion in the tongue
  • Speech related problems
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Increased chance of infection
  • Discomfort
  • Revision Intervention
  • Allergy risk toward the implanted materials
  • Nerve damage or trauma
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Acute symptoms like headache, coughing, choking, or dysphasia


Indications and Contraindications for the Inspire Sleep 


You are eligible to use this device if:

  • You suffer moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
  • You cannot get adequate relief from CPAP therapy.
  • You are 18 years of age and above.
  • You are not significantly overweight.

You must not use Inspire neurostimulators if:

  • You have complete concentric collapse at the soft palate.
  • You suffer from central and mixed apnea that together make up more than 25% of your AHI.
  • You have a BMI of 35 or more.

Contraindications while using Inspire therapy can include the following:

  • Patients with anatomical features that can compromise upper air stimulation
  • Patients who face difficulty in operating the sleep remote
  • Patients having central and mixed sleep apnea symptoms that are greater than 25% of their total AHI
  • Where OSA patients have compromised neurological control of the upper airway because of any resulting condition of procedure
  • Patients who plan to be pregnant or are pregnant
  • Patients with an implanted device that can have an unintended resistance towards Inspire device


Warnings & Safeguards While Using Inspire Therapy

You can use Inspire therapy subject to certain warnings and safeguards as given under.

  • Training Requirements: Inspire device must be inserted using the proper surgical procedure by trained medical professionals.
  • Restrictions in Younger Patients: In patients younger than 18years of age, obstructive sleep apnea usually occurs because of certain anatomical blockages. In such a case, Inspire therapy will not provide the desired relief.
  • Components Use: Patients must use only the components provided by Inspire Medical systems as other components can cause an increased risk in patients.
  • Diathermy Restrictions: Healthcare professionals must not use diathermy on patients implanted with neurostimulation devices. The use of diathermy can cause tissue damage at the site of the implanted device resulting in severe injury or even death in patients. Diathermy can also damage the components of the implanted device, requiring additional surgery for replacement.
  • Magnetic Resonance Screening Safeguards: Doctors should be careful before using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) on patients with neurostimulation devices. 
  • Sleep Remote Uses: Patients with neurostimulation implants must be cautious while using the sleep remote near explosive or flammable substances. They must avoid any possible interaction between the sleep remote and such volatile conditions because of unknown consequences.
  • BMI Restrictions: Based on the feasibility studies conducted, patients with BMI greater than 35 may not respond well to the Inspire sleep treatments. Using Inspire sleep therapy on people with higher BMI is not recommended because of unknown effectiveness and safety parameters;
  • FDI Guidelines: As per FDA guidelines, Inspire neurostimulation devices can only be sold by or on the order of a medical practitioner.


Activities to Avoid While Using Inspire Therapy

While inspire devices can help you deal with obstructive sleep apnea symptoms and breath easier, you need to avoid certain activities as follows:

  • Scuba diving: You must avoid diving below 30 meters of water or avoid entering hyperbaric chambers when having implanted Inspire devices.
  • Moving device components: After getting Inspire device, you must not rub or manipulate your stimulator through the skin. Doing so can damage the components of the device, cause injury to the surrounding tissues, and even affect its performance.



Living with obstructive sleep apnea can be a challenging experience. Although CPAP remains the most common treatment for reducing OSA symptoms in patients, it may not work for everyone.

Inspire sleep therapy can offer the perfect solution for people who fail to benefit from CPAP.

Inspire Medical Systems focuses on providing high-quality, customer-centric, safe, reliable, and effective treatment for OSA to improve the patient's quality of life.

If you are interested in learning more about Inspire for Sleep Apnea, reach out to Houston ENT & Allergy


John D Edwards, MD