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Southern ENT & Sinus Center

Otolaryngologists located in Birmingham, AL

Inspire® Sleep Therapy

No Mask. No Hose. Just Sleep.


Inspire® is a FDA approved treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea when CPAP has failed. The treatment includes an implanted system and a patient remote. The system delivers mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve which controls the movement of the tongue and other key airway muscles. By stimulating these muscles, the airway remains open during sleep. The doctors at Southern ENT & Sinus Center can determine if you might be a candidate for this novel procedure. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book online today.

Follow the link for a short video about the Inspire device:


Frequently Asked Questions:

How does Inspire therapy work?

  • Inspire works inside your body with your natural breathing process to treat
    obstructive sleep apnea. While you sleep, Inspire delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, allowing the airway to remain open.
  • The Inspire system is controlled by a small handheld sleep remote. You turn Inspire on before bed and off in the morning when you wake up.


Will Inspire help with snoring?

  • A significant decrease in snoring has been found as a secondary effect of Inspire. 90% of bed partners report no or soft snoring by their partner.


Who qualifies for Inspire?

  • Inspire therapy was FDA-approved in 2014 and, as of October 2020, is used by over 10,000 people worldwide. Over 300 leading medical centers have been trained to offer Inspire as part of their sleep apnea treatment options.
  • Inspire is for people who:
    • Have been diagnosed with moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, specifically an Apnea-Hypopnea Index (i.e. the number of times they stop breathing each hour) between 15 and 65
    • Are unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP
    • Are not significantly overweight
    • Are over age 18


Is Inspire covered by Insurance?

  • Inspire is reimbursed by most major insurance providers, either as a covered policy or approved on an individual basis. Your doctor and the insurance team at Inspire will work with you for approval.


What does the stimulation feel like?

  • You should feel a mild sensation from the stimulation when the therapy is
    turned on. Typically, patients feel a tingling sensation or mild contraction in
    their tongue muscles. Then stimulation is delayed for a period of time while you fall asleep. After this start delay, stimulation resumes. The stimulation is gentle and designed to move the tongue forward without disturbing your sleep.


Will I be able to increase or decrease the strength of stimulation?

  • Yes. A range of stimulation will be programmed by your doctor, and the Inspire sleep remote allows you to adjust the strength of stimulation.
  • The stimulation should not be painful or uncomfortable. Stimulation strength can be adjusted so that therapy is comfortable and effective.
How long is the recovery time after surgery?
  • You should expect some pain and swelling at the incision sites for a few days after the implant.
  • Within a few days following the procedure, you should be able to return to
    normal nonstrenuous activities. You should avoid strenuous activities for
    about two weeks, or as directed by your doctor. A week after surgery, your
    doctor will examine you to make sure you are healing properly.


Can the device be removed?

  • It is possible to safely remove Inspire through a surgical procedure when medically necessary. However, this is rare and not recommended in most situations.


Will I need additional sleep studies?

  • You will need at least one sleep study so your doctor can fine tune your
    therapy settings. Your doctor may need additional sleep studies to monitor
    and adjust your therapy settings.


Can I go through airport security with Inspire?

  • It is safe to go through security screening devices with Inspire. It is possible that Inspire would set off the metal detector so you should let security personnel know that you have an implanted stimulator and carry your Inspire Identification Card for verification.


How long does the Inspire battery last?

  • The battery in Inspire is designed to last for approximately 11 years. Once it is running low, it is replaced during a short outpatient procedure