LewisGale helps sufferers get some Zzz’s and presents a brand new sleep apnea therapy

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – A new treatment option will help people suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

LewisGale Medical Center is the first hospital in southwest Virginia to offer this treatment option for patients unable to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

OSA affects 22 million Americans, according to LewisGale. Left untreated, OSA can lead to motor vehicle and work accidents, stroke, heart attack, deterioration in mood and memory, and death.

Doctors say OSA occurs when the airways collapse during sleep, blocking the flow of oxygen to the brain. When this happens, the brain senses a lack of oxygen, forcing the body to wake up and take a breath. This cycle then repeats itself throughout the night, resulting in poor and disruptive sleep.

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“Patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea who are unable to tolerate or experience lasting benefit from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment may benefit from this novel treatment option,” said Dr. Brian Gross, Otorhinolaryngologist with LewisGale Physicians.

This treatment option is called Inspire. This technology then works with the patient’s natural breathing process to treat sleep apnea. According to the Inspire website, the device is placed under the skin of the neck and chest during an outpatient procedure. The device is then switched on. From there, the patient receives a remote control to turn on the device before bedtime and turn it off after waking up. When used, the device stimulates the airways during sleep, allowing oxygen to flow naturally.

People suffering from sleep apnea have common symptoms such as:

  • Loud
  • Episodes where you breathing while sleeping
  • Gasping for air while sleeping
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • headache in the morning
  • difficulty falling asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • irritability

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“If you or a family member have multiple of these symptoms, we encourage you to see your GP to determine if a sleep study assessment is appropriate,” Gross said. “This new technology offers additional treatment options for patients who require an alternative to CPAP.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment to and treat sleep apnea, call 540-444-8100.

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