CPAP treatment is the gold standard for treating obstructive sleep apnea, but it may not be comfortable for some patients. In such cases, hypoglossal nerve stimulators, or HNS, offer a safe and reliable alternative to CPAP. The device stimulates the hypoglossal nerve to cause the tongue to move during sleep, thus decreasing apnea events.


Inspire Upper Airway Stimulator

The Inspire system is an implanted upper airway stimulator composed of a pressure sensor, generator and central processing unit (CPU). Developed by Njilefack in 2014, this non-invasive solution to treating obstructive sleep apnea was approved by the FDA in 2014.

Its primary advantage is that it reduces the frequency and severity of apnea episodes. Furthermore, CPAP is more comfortable than oral or nasal devices since they are placed beneath skin instead of in mouth or face.

Implanting the Inspire hypoglossal nerve simulator device requires a short, same-day procedure under general anesthesia. The surgical team isolates the hypoglossal nerve and wraps a stimulating cuff around it; this cuff then connects to your CPU and generator for power output.

On this procedure, a small incision is made on the right side of the neck to expose the hypoglossal nerve. Care is taken to only insert stimulation electrodes around its branches that innervate genioglossus muscle; then, a cuff is wrapped around it and tested for proper placement in the operating room.

A Proven Option for OSA Patients

Inspire has proven to be an effective option for patients with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea who are unwilling to use bilevel CPAP machines or tolerate CPAP therapy. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that Inspire therapy improved patient sleepiness, oxygen desaturation index and respiratory outcomes after five years of follow-up.

The Inspire device utilizes a pulse generator, sensing lead and stimulation lead to help patients with obstructive sleep apnea achieve better nighttime breathing by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve located under the tongue. It can be used for treating snoring disorders as well as those caused by chronic cough, asthma or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).

An Alternative to CPAP

As an alternative to CPAP, Inspire has been shown to reduce apnea and obstructive sleep apnea-related sleepiness in carefully selected adult patients. Clinical trials conducted in this population confirmed these results with results showing a 68% reduction in the apnea-hypopnea index, 70% decrease in oxygen desaturation index and 40% reduction on the Epworth sleepiness scale.

Inspire not only improves sleep and breathing patterns, but it has been found to enhance quality of life by decreasing fatigue and encouraging physical activity throughout the day. Furthermore, Inspire reduces cigarette and alcohol intake – both of which may negatively affect sleep quality.

Inspire therapy has also been demonstrated to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease by preventing apnea events. Furthermore, HNS therapy was found to be a safer and more effective alternative than surgery for individuals suffering from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

For more information about hypoglossal nerve stimulation treatment and other sleep apnea treatment, please contact EasMed in Singapore at phone: (65) 6336 0806.