More than 65 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea. One local woman is the first ever in the CSRA to get treated for the disorder with a groundbreaking new procedure.
Lottie Davis has struggled with obstructive sleep apnea for almost a decade. It seems like nothing was working for her to curb her struggle but now she hopes with a brand new procedure she will have peace while resting her head.
“As far as me being the first in all this, I didn’t have a clue that this would be,” explained Davis.
Doctors usually prescribe CPAP machines for people who have obstructive sleep apnea.
“If they’re like me, I couldn’t stand the mask so it might be little painful for you to being cut on three times but it’ll be worth it. I’m sure,” asserted Davis.
Instead of being attached to a CPAP machine while sleeping, Lottie had surgery and a hypoglossal nerve simulator called ‘The Inspire‘ placed in her to help her get some rest.
Dr. Mingsi Li practices otorhinolaryngology at Augusta University Medical Center.
He explained, “It’s implanted under the skin. It’s connected to the nerve that controls the movement of the tongue. It’s done obviously in the operating room. What this nerve stimulator does is it stimulates a specific branch of the nerve to control the movement of the tongue. To allow the tongue to come forward when the patient takes a breath. This way, the airway stays open and they only experience that decrease in oxygen level. Have a much better sleep.”
“I’m really excited because really and truly, I probably sleep four hours. I’m always up, down but hopefully, this will help,” said Davis.
Not only is Lottie excited, so is her husband.
“He says I snore but I don’t know. You have to ask him that,” said Lottie light heartedly. She continued, “Hopefully, we’ll both get a good nights sleep now.”
Dr. Li added, “Now there’s something we can offer people in this region that has never been done before. I think hopefully we can have more people coming in, getting evaluated for sleep apnea and see if they’re a candidate for this procedure.”