Dr. Joshua Levine on WCNC's Charlotte Today to discuss sleep apnea

Dr. Joshua Levine appeared on WCNC's Charlotte Today on September 14, 2021 to discuss sleep apnea, including how it affects your body and treatment options such as the Inspire Sleep Apnea Innovation

Transcript of the Interview:

Eugene Robinson: There's nothing better than a good night's sleep, but for millions of Americans, the sleep is disrupted by sleep apnea. Here to tell us more is Dr. Joshua Levine with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates. Hello doc, welcome to the show. How you doing?
Dr. Joshua Levine:
Thank you very much, thank you for having me. it's great to be here.
Eugene:
Doc, what is sleep apnea? We hear about it all the time, what is sleep apnea?
Dr. Levine:
Sleep apnea is a condition where the throat closes up at night, partially or completely blocking the flow of oxygen into the body and the brain, and this disrupts sleep. The brain will wake up for just a few seconds to open up the airway and then this happens over and over again. Sometimes this just can start as mild snoring and that an elbow from your bed partner will wake you up, and that can fix it, but sometimes it's more severe where a physician needs to help treat you.
Eugene:
So, what are some of the common causes of sleep apnea?
Dr. Levine:
Common causes for of sleep apnea include nasal obstruction, upper airway collapse, weight gain and sometimes sedatives like alcohol.
Eugene:
Alright, what are typical treatment options for sleep apnea?
Dr. Levine:
So, there's lots of different treatments options for sleep apnea and once the diagnosis is made which is usually done with a home sleep apnea test, we talk to the patient about different methods of treatment. One of them can be positive airway pressure therapy, which is a very common therapy. The other is an oral appliance which brings the jaw forward. Sometimes we talk about weight loss, avoiding alcohol, and other treatments include surgery
Eugene:
So, what is the Inspire Sleep Apnea device? What is that?
Dr. Levine:
The Inspire Sleep Apnea device is probably something that you've heard about recently and it's really amazing. It's a cool new technique, it's been approved since 2014 for treating obstructive sleep apnea and it doesn't involve any hoses. All you have is an outpatient surgery, and what we do is we implant a little device like this. This is a battery essentially, it's a generator. This goes in your chest and then there's another small incision that's underneath your neck, and there's three parts to the device itself. One part senses breathing, there's another part that's the stimulator that actually delivers a small pulse to your tongue nerve, and when it works and when you turn it on at night, what happens is your tongue moves out of the way and it opens up your throat.
There's a small little remote, this is kind of what the remote looks like. Essentially, at night when you're ready to go to sleep, you turn it on with this little button. You might feel a little pulse in your tongue, and then you go to sleep. There's a delay for this, and maybe 15-20 minutes later once you're asleep, you shouldn't feel it because it has a very low stimulation. It moves your tongue forward and opens up the throat to help with obstructive sleep apnea.
Eugene:
how does this device compare to treatment options like CPAP
Dr. Levine:
So with CPAP therapy, as you know, we're attached to a hose. There's a mask over your face. Sometimes the bed partner complains about leaking, there's noises around it, it's hard to roll over because there's a hose attached to your face, and or turning off the top of your head, and this completely frees you from all of those hoses. You can put it on, you can use it when you're camping, you can use it on an airplane, so you're really detached. And you can sleep like you were born to sleep. It's amazing.
Eugene:
So who would be an ideal candidate for the Inspire Sleep Apnea device?
Dr. Levine:
So when somebody comes into the office for evaluation, we do several things. One is we look at their prior sleep study. If they have moderate-to-severe sleep apnea, then they could be a candidate for Inspire. The other is we look at the severity of their sleep apnea and we look at their throat. We look at if there's any obstruction in their nose, if there's any obstruction in their throat, and if you tried and failed sleep therapy then that's a potential option for you.
Then there's one procedure that we need to do as an outpatient, and that procedure is called a snore study. That's when we give patients some sedation and we watch them sleep and put a little camera inside the nose while you're asleep and we watch your throat collapse. Depending on how your throat collapses, that would tell us whether you're a candidate for the Inspire upper airway stimulation therapy.
Eugene:
Dr. Levine, thank you. Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates has numerous locations in and around Charlotte, including their office in Blakeney where you'll find Dr. Levine. To learn more, check out the website WeJustMakeSense.com. Once again, thank you very much, sir.

Is sleep apnea keeping you or your loved ones up at night? Schedule your next sleep consultation with Dr. Levine at our Blakeney office today. 

 


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