Snoring and Sleep Apnea Procedures

Snoring is a very common problem. Virtually all of us either snore, sleep with someone who snores or knows someone who snores. Every family has a snorer who is often the object of many good-natured jokes. Yet, for many, snoring is a serious problem. It is not only embarrassing but often keeps everyone in the house from getting a good night’s sleep. Daytime problems such as fatigue, headache, and poor concentration can be attributed to poor sleep.


A thorough history and physical exam will usually indicate whether or not there is part of the more serious medical problem. The exam allows us to determine the cause of snoring. We can tell what role nasal congestion, allergies, and sinusitis play in snoring. The questions that need to be answered at this visit include: Do you have a nasal obstruction? Are your tonsils and adenoids causing the blockage? Are your enlarged uvula and floppy soft palate the main issue?

Associates of Otolaryngology

AOO Team Bio

Associates of Otolaryngology is a practice that has been serving the Denver area for over 40 years. This group of board-certified physicians has exceptional experience treating multi-generational families and meeting their needs in ENT services, sleep health, sinus and allergy treatment, hearing treatment, and facial plastic surgery. Our team includes ENT physicians, specialty-trained nurses, audiologists, and plastic surgeons. In addition to outstanding routine care, our team is available 24/7 for emergencies

Meet Our Providers

We recommend that nasal obstruction, sinusitis, tonsil disease, and allergies issues are ruled out before analysis and treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.

What is OSA

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is caused when the soft tissues of the airway relax during sleep and block the flow of oxygen to the brain. It is estimated that OSA affects 22 million Americans. At night, the brain senses a lack of oxygen due to the soft tissue blockage and wakes the body up just long enough to take a breath. This period of time is so short, many do not even remember awakening. This pattern repeats throughout the night causing poor, disruptive sleep. The consequences of untreated OSA can be detrimental, including motor vehicle and workplace accidents, worsening mood and memory, stroke, heart attack and even sudden death.

Treatment Options

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment used for OSA and remains the gold standard. CPAP delivers pressurized air into the airway via a hose and a mask and works well for some patients. However, studies have shown that approximately 50% of people who are prescribed CPAP stop using it, or never even start. For those patients, there are many different treatment options available. Some patients find success with oral appliances or anatomy altering surgeries. For others, there’s Inspire.

Inspire Therapy

Inspire treats the root cause of OSA by working inside the body with the natural breathing process. Mild stimulation is delivered to key airway muscles, allowing the airway to open during sleep and prevent obstructions. The Inspire device includes a small battery and two small wires placed under the skin of the neck and chest and is implanted during a short, outpatient procedure. Patients typically return home the same day and to non-strenuous activity within a few days of the procedure. Most patients manage pain with over-the-counter pain medication.

Approximately one month after the procedure, Inspire is turned on and the patient is given a Sleep remote to turn Inspire on before bed and off when they wake. That’s it. No mask, no hose, just sleep.

The Inspire sleep remote is programmed with a preset range allowing patients to slowly increase their level of stimulation over the following months. Approximately three months after initial device activation, the settings are optimized during an in-lab sleep study.

Inspire is controlled by the patient using the small, handheld Inspire Sleep Remote. The Inspire Sleep Remote is used to turn Inspire on before bed and off in the morning. Additionally, the patient can pause therapy during the night if needed and increase/decrease therapy settings.


Inspire therapy was FDA-approved in 2014 and, as of October 2020, is used by over 10,000 people worldwide. Over 250 leading medical centers have been trained to offer Inspire as part of their sleep apnea treatment options.

Inspire is for people who:

  • Have been diagnosed with moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, specifically an Apnea-Hypopnea Index (i.e. the number of times they stop breathing each hour) between 15 and 65
  • Are unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP
  • Are not significantly overweight
  • Are over age 18

Clinical Results

The safety and efficacy of Inspire was measured during the STAR clinical trial. One-year STAR trial results were published in January 9th, 2014 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, showing patients using Inspire therapy had significant reductions in sleep apnea events and significant improvements in quality of life measures. These significant reductions and improvements were sustained over a 5-year follow-up period.

As of October 2020, there have been over 100 peer-reviewed publications on Inspire therapy. These publications show that patients using Inspire therapy in real world, clinical practice settings experience significant reductions in sleep apnea events and significant improvements in quality of life measures, consistent with those seen in the STAR clinical trial.

Notable outcomes of Inspire include:

  • 90% of bed partners reported no snoring or soft snoring1
  • 79% reduction in sleep apnea events1
  • 94% of people are satisfied with Inspire2
  • 96% of Inspire patients say Inspire is better than CPAP & would recommend Inspire to others2

1: Woodson et al., OTO-HNS 2018.

2: Heiser et al., ERJ 2019.

Learn More About Inspire from Dr. Keith Swartz on a Free Educational Webinar

December 1st at 6PM – Register Below!



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