CPAP Alternatives – Other Ways to Treat Sleep Apnea

Unfortunately, people suffering of sleep apnea are always looking for CPAP alternatives. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is generally considered as the solution for sleep apnea by healthcare providers. It is the most common therapy prescribed to treat sleep apnea. However, people find this treatment very uncomfortable, due to which they prefer going for other alternatives.

People may not believe this, but sleep apnea can become the cause of many problems for both the patients and the people around them. For example, it makes a sleeping partner extremely uncomfortable when the sufferer snores throughout the night, making it difficult for the partners to fall asleep. Though people may think sleep apnea is harmless, it causes all sorts of discomfort in people, such as headaches and dry nostrils (nasal dryness). The condition sometimes becomes so extreme that it can lead to accidents due to daytime drowsiness. To avoid these problems people suffering of sleep apnea need to treat their conditions accordingly.

CPAP

In CPAP treatments, the patient is first monitored using electrodes. These electrodes are connected to the body to help monitor the activities in the body, like the heartbeats and the brain waves. After this, the patient is connected to the CPAP machine, with the mask fitted on. The machine pushes pressurized air through the nasal passage of the patient. This helps in keeping the airways from collapsing while the patient sleeps. The use of CPAP helps in determining the level and severity of sleep apnea conditions in patients. It allows the patient to breathe freely, and eliminates the occurrence of sleep apnea episodes.

Why People Look For CPAP Alternatives

Though CPAP is a commonly used in the treatment of sleep apnea and controlling snoring, many people dislike the treatment. After a while, it becomes unbearable for patients to use CPAP because of the constant need to wear the mask. Plus another reason for this dislike is that CPAP is not considered as a permanent cure of sleep apnea. Roughly, about only 23% of patients using CPAP are successful at using this treatment constantly. Most CPAP patients dislike the use of the mask because of the discomfort it causes. For example, it causes nasal and eye irritation, mouth dryness, and straps loosening many times during the night, etc.

Patients who have other allergies are forced to breathe through their mouth sometimes. Such patients find it very difficult to go through this treatment. Due to the high rate failure of CPAP treatment, some healthcare providers or doctors recommend the use of CPAP alternatives, which are relatively easier to use and maintain, and most importantly, will be comfortable to use.

Intraoral Appliances

A good and effective Continuous Positive Airway Pressure alternative is the use of an intraoral appliance. This is a small appliance worn on the mouth while going to sleep. Intraoral sleep appliances are usually custom-fabricated mouthpieces, which are similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth-guards worn over the teeth for protection. These appliances work comfortably by repositioning the lower jaw and by restraining the tongue forward to keep the airway open. This allows the effective management of snoring and sleep apnea which enables patients to achieve a good quality sleep without any interruptions.

Patients prefer the use of intraoral appliances because they are less uncomfortable as compared to CPAP masks. Patients use these as an alternative to treat sleep apnea these days, and many people are beginning to notice how effective and easy-to-use they are. There are many sleep apnea appliances that have been approved for use as they help improving sleep apnea conditions in patients and help in having a good sleep. So, it is no longer a problem for sleep apnea patients to look for CPAP alternatives for better and comfortable ways of helping a sleeping disorder. Consulting a doctor on what oral appliance to use preferably would be the right course of action to begin with.

Combining Therapies

With only a small percentage of CPAP users, wearing CPAP masks is still the only option some patients are forced to stick with. Though CPAP is considered to be a “gold star” treatment for patients having severe sleep apnea, not wearing the mask as required will make the treatment ineffective. Patients suffering of severe sleep apnea and having no choice but to stick to CPAP often find comfort in combining therapies as CPAP alternatives. Many patients combine oral appliance therapy with their CPAP therapy. Repositioning the mandibles help in opening the airways and allow CPAP users to reduce the mask pressure.

Oral appliance therapy is a well-liked method of treatment in patients having mild to severe sleep apnea. People suffering of sleep apnea from all over the globe have increasingly been visiting dental practitioners for screening and fitting oral appliances. After dentists run airway tests using Eccovision Imaging software (which is a diagnostic technology which measure the collapsibility of airways), a unique custom-made appliance is made for the patient. These appliances serve as very good CPAP alternatives that keep the positioning of the mandible open and forward, allowing you and others around you a peaceful night’s sleep.