Seeking CPAP Alternatives
The most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. The machine draws in air and pressurizes it to deliver a sufficient amount of humidified air through your lungs to clear the obstruction that’s stopping your breathing.
CPAP is an effective treatment for many sleep apnea sufferers, yet many dislike using them. In fact, 4 in 5 people don’t use their CPAP machines for the recommended amount of time. Most patients find the mask and air pressure uncomfortable, noisy, and bulky, resulting in stopping their treatment altogether.
With the advancements in dentistry, Dr. Clinton offers you alternatives to CPAP and provides you with a customized solution that helps you get a full night’s rest — without interruptions.
Oral Appliances Therapy
At our Waxahachie office, we can provide you with a more comfortable alternative to CPAP. An oral appliance is ideal for patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. This alternative just might be the preferable, more comfortable solution you’ve been looking for. The appliance fits precisely onto your teeth and works to gently move your jaw forward, just enough to clear the obstruction that’s stopping you from breathing properly.
As a certified sleep dentist, Dr. Clinton can craft a customized oral appliance to help you relieve your sleep apnea symptoms and reduce snoring. This appliance has become a favored method of treatment by many of our patients because of its ability to help a variety of problems based on what’s right for you and your unique characteristics.
Benefits of Oral Appliances
There are many life-changing benefits from using oral appliances:
- Easy to use
- Customized for you
- Small and convenient
- Enhances your quality of sleep
Another beneficial factor is that CPAP and oral appliances are mutually compatible. It’s common for patients to use both if they suffer from severe sleep apnea. Patients can also use the oral appliances as a backup while their CPAP is undergoing maintenance.
Other Alternatives to CPAP
Alleviating your symptoms of sleep apnea can often come down to lifestyle choices. Even if you’re being treated for sleep apnea, making certain changes can minimize the effects of sleep apnea even further.
There are additional ways you can reduce your sleep apnea symptoms:
- Lose weight: Carrying excess weight, especially in the neck area can put pressure on your throat and cause obstruction. If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight by altering your diet plans and exercising regularly can help make a permanent positive change in your snoring and other symptoms.
- Tobacco and alcohol consumption: Tobacco can affect your airway and increases the risk of developing sleep apnea. Alcohol and other sedatives like sleeping pills can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea. Quitting tobacco and reducing alcohol consumption can help reduce your sleep apnea.
- Positional therapy: Sleeping on your back can worsen your sleep apnea, training yourself to sleep on your side can help. There are also throat exercises you can practice to help tone the muscles along your airway passage.
- Surgery: A number of surgeries are also available, including nasal surgery, adenoidectomies, maxillomandibular advancement surgery, and tracheostomy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do patients dislike the CPAP machine?
CPAP works by increasing the pressure in your throat to prevent the airway from collapsing. A CPAP machine requires that you wear an oxygen mask that’s attached to a console through a tube and it has to be plugged in.
There are a few disadvantages when it comes to using a CPAP machine:
- Keeping the device clean
- Difficulty tolerating forced air
- Dry or stuffy nose
- Feeling claustrophobic
- Skin irritation or pressure sores
- Noisy, keeping you or your sleep partner awake
- Difficult to travel with
Due to the disadvantages, as many as 40% of the patients don’t start their treatment or don’t get their medication refilled and stop using it altogether.
Is oral appliance therapy an effective solution to snoring?
Yes, oral appliances can be a solution for snoring and mild-moderate sleep apnea. These customized appliances gently move your jaw forward, just enough to clear the obstruction that’s stopping you from sleeping properly.
Dr. Clinton Can Find a CPAP Alternative for You
If you’re struggling to sleep with CPAP, you don’t have to worry about any more sleepless nights. Dr. Clinton can help find an oral appliance that’s effective and comfortable for you. To learn more about our alternatives to CPAP, call our office at (972) 737-5337. You can also fill out our online contact form and our staff will get back to you promptly.