INSPIRE Device services offered in Chelmsford, Concord and Woburn, MA and Nashua and Derry, NH

People with obstructive sleep apnea stop and restart breathing 5-30 times or more an hour, creating a dangerous cycle that leads to high blood pressure, weight gain, and heart arrhythmias. The physicians at Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, with offices in Chelmsford, Woburn, and Concord, Massachusetts, and Nashua and Derry, New Hampshire, offer the Inspire® Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) system, the first device to use safe, effective neuromodulation to treat obstructive sleep apnea. To learn if you're a good candidate for the Inspire device, call the nearest office or book online today.

What is the Inspire device?

Inspire is approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea. The implanted device uses mild electrical impulses to keep the airway open while you sleep at night. 

How does the Inspire device treat obstructive sleep apnea? 

The muscles in your tongue and throat relax while you sleep. As they relax, they fall toward the back of your throat, where they cover the airway. 

When the tissues partially cover the airway, they vibrate and cause snoring. But when they block the airway, you can't breathe in air, and your oxygen levels drop.

The change in oxygen quickly alerts your brain, which wakes you just enough to make you breathe again. Before long, the tissues fall over the airway again, and the cycle repeats. 

Inspire stops the cycle by monitoring your breathing and sending electrical impulses into the muscles. The mild stimulation prevents the muscles from relaxing, keeping your airway open. 

What symptoms indicate I may need the Inspire device for sleep apnea?

Loud snoring is the main symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to snoring, you may experience:

  • Difficulty waking in the morning
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Headache in the morning
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Forgetfulness or memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression 

Children also snore, but their daytime fatigue may appear in the form of hyperactivity, irritability, or oppositional behavior. 

Where is the Inspire device implanted?

The Inspire device includes three parts that your Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates provider implants under your skin: a small generator, a breathing sensor, and a stimulation lead.

Your provider places the generator and breathing sensor under the skin on your chest. Then they run the stimulation lead from the generator under the skin of your neck, placing the lead just under your chin.

The surgery takes about two hours and is usually an outpatient procedure. After your provider implants the device, you may have mild pain or swelling, as well as tongue weakness or soreness. These side effects both improve over time.

About one month after surgery, you have a follow-up appointment to set the stimulation settings and learn how to use the remote. Then you only need to use the remote controller to turn the device on before going to bed.

If you need help with obstructive sleep apnea, call Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, or book an appointment online today to learn about the Inspire device.