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New implantable device could offer cure for some sleep apnea patients

SPRING, TX – Some sleep apnea patients could be putting away their continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for good thanks to an implanted device that is controlled with a remote.

One local man said the “Inspire” device completely changed his way of life.

“My sleep study said I was stopping breathing 79 times in an hour,” Kevin Snow from Hempstead said.

Snow said wearing a CPAP mask for sleep apnea was not working for him and complications from the disorder were putting lives in danger.

“When you wake up and you’re doing 80 miles an hour, it’s scary,” Snow said. “Then I did it once with my wife in the car and she wouldn’t let me drive anymore.”

He went to see Dr. Ben Cilento from Texas Sinus and Snoring in Spring.

Cilento told him about Inspire, which is surgically implanted under the skin and cures 90% of people with sleep apnea. That means patients can get rid of their CPAP machines.

“It’s an implantable device that we wrap around the nerve that controls your tongue and we monitor your breathing at night," Cilento said. "As you’re breathing, it gently lift the tongue off the back of the throat and it opens the throat naturally. (An) Inspire patient comes in, takes their handheld device, holds it over their chest, presses a button and they’re off to sleep.”

Snow said there's a lot of things marketed to help sleep apnea but this is the one that changed his life.

“Everybody wants to get in the game, but this works!” Snow said.

For more information about how the device works, go to the Inspire Sleep website.