To Help Patients Get Zzzs, LewisGale Offers New Treatment For Sleep Apnea

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – A new treatment option will help people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

LewisGale Medical Center is the first hospital in Southwest Virginia to offer this treatment option for those who cannot use continuous positive airway therapy (CPAP).

According to LewisGale, 22 million Americans are affected by OSA. If left untreated, OSA can cause road and work accidents, stroke, heart attacks, deterioration of mood and memory, and death.

Doctors say OSA occurs when the airways collapse during sleep and block the flow of oxygen to the brain. When this happens, the brain senses a lack of oxygen and forces the body to wake up and breathe. This cycle will then repeat itself throughout the night, causing poor and disruptive sleep.

“Patients who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and who are intolerant of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or who cannot consistently benefit from it may benefit from this new treatment option,” said Dr. Brian Gross, certified otolaryngologist. with LewisGale Doctors.

This treatment option is called Inspire. This technology then works with the patient’s natural respiratory process to treat sleep apnea. From 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 will be given a remote control to turn the device on before going to bed and turn it off when they wake up. When used, the device stimulates the airways during sleep, allowing oxygen to flow naturally.

People who suffer from sleep apnea have common symptoms such as:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing while sleeping
  • Breathless while sleeping
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability

“If you or a family member has more than one of these symptoms, we recommend that you visit your primary care provider to determine if a sleep study assessment is necessary,” Gross said. “This new technology offers additional treatment options for patients needing an alternative to CPAP. “

For more information or to make an appointment for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea, call 540-444-8100.

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