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Astonished by Inspire

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Ryan Rogers (left) poses with his family

Sleep apnea is just one sleep disorder, but it impacts millions of Americans. According to the American Medical Association, about 30 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, but only 6 million are diagnosed with the condition. There are two different types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central.

48-year-old Ryan Rogers suffered from unrestful sleep for decades. He began snoring severely in his twenties. Although it was a nuisance, he never took action to remedy the issue. Despite always taking good care of his body by eating healthy foods and exercising, Rogers developed pre-diabetes and then type two diabetes in his forties. While going through tests surrounding that diagnosis, it was discovered he had obstructive sleep apnea.

“I had trouble feeling energized during the day. When I’m working, I work hard and I’m always moving. But if I stopped and sat down, forget about it! I’d fall right to sleep. It was sometimes hard to stay awake while waiting at stoplights in the car,” he said.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. It’s considered a serious medical condition and usually happens when the muscles that control your airway relax too much, narrowing your throat. It causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing while you sleep and can decrease oxygen levels.

Rogers was prescribed a CPAP machine to use while sleeping which provides pressurized air through a mask that seals over the mouth or nose. This allows patients to breathe without much effort and sleep without waking up.

“I tried it, but I couldn’t sleep with the CPAP. For me, it was uncomfortable and would fall off. The tube would get tangled. I hated it,” he said.

Then Rogers’ wife came across an ad for Inspire, the only FDA approved obstructive sleep apnea treatment that works inside the body to treat the root cause of sleep apnea. Inspire is an alternative to CPAP that works while you sleep. It’s a small device placed during a same-day, outpatient procedure. When ready for bed, patients click the remote to turn on Inspire. While sleeping, Inspire opens the airway, allowing patients to breathe normally and sleep peacefully.

“Ryan was an ideal candidate for Inspire. When he tried and could not tolerate using a CPAP he kept searching for a treatment,” said Dr. Dennis Jurcevic, sleep medicine specialist at University Hospitals. “His obstructive sleep apnea was severe enough to treat with Inspire. His BMI was less than 35. He had a non-concentric airway collapse on Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy (DISE), a procedure needed to check how the upper airway collapses prior to Inspire. He was very motivated to find a treatment solution.”

Rogers underwent the procedure and had his Inspire device implanted in December of 2021. He was a little sore at first, but was astonished by the results.

“That first night I turned it on, it was amazing. It was a night and day difference. I slept better than I had in 20 years,” he said.

The device has helped Rogers sleep better for more than a year. He reports having more energy during the day and snoring less at night.

“Patients like Ryan, who struggle with CPAP, have other options like Inspire that can manage their obstructive sleep apnea and allow them to have a better quality of life,” said Dr. Jurcevic.

“I would tell anyone with sleep apnea to talk to your doctor and ask about this device, because it has made that much of a difference for me,” said Rogers.

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