LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Better rested people make better readers, thinkers and listeners. But getting a restful night’s sleep is difficult for some. According to the University of Louisville, sleep apnea impacts an estimated 22 million Americans, which if left untreated, can lead to major health problems for your heart and lungs. A new treatment might be the help those with the condition need.

What You Need To Know

  • Sleep apnea impacts an estimated 22 million Americans, according to UofL

  • Obstructive sleep anea  is often treated with the use of a CPAP machine, which some find uncomfortable and limiting

  • A UofL Health doctor explains how a new treatment works

UofL Health is spreading the word about a new treatment to help those who suffer from sleep apnea. The treatment is called Inspire. It is a surgical procedure to help people who struggle with snoring and regular breathing at night.

“This device is able to stimulate that nerve while you are sleeping every time you take a breath in, and what it does is it holds the tongue and the soft palette and other structures that tend to collapse because they are all tethered together. It holds those structures forward and keeps them from falling backwards and obstructing the airway,” said Dr. Kevin Potts, an otolaryngologist with UofL Physicians.

If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to serious health ramifications.

“A long period of time going untreated for sleep apnea can lead to detrimental effects of the cardiovascular and pulmonary system, which can set you up for high blood pressure, pulmonary hypotension, just a whole slew of bad effects on very important areas of the body,” said Potts.

You can learn more about the Inspire treatment during a Facebook live by UofL Health at 7 p.m. Monday, July 26. Potts will be hosting a Q&A session to help walk patients through Inspire and how they can qualify for the treatment.