Treating Sleep Apnea:
What is CPAP? Why are People Seeking Alternatives?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs during sleep when your throat muscles and tongue collapse into the airway and block regular airflow. CPAP masks are worn at night to treat this condition by continuously blowing gentle, pressurized air into your airway.
Unfortunately, research by the American College of Physicians has found that nearly half or more of people using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines don’t stick with the treatment. This means many of these sleep apnea sufferers are not receiving any treatment at all for their sleep apnea, and this can lead to major health risks.
Why do people stop using CPAP? Many patients become dissatisfied with CPAP therapy because their CPAP machine is big, loud, and it forces them to sleep on their back. CPAP leaves many patients feeling claustrophobic, and it needs to be unhooked and reattached if you have to get up at night for any reason.
Oral Appliances & Their Benefits
Here at Aragona Sleep Solutions, we feature treatment alternatives to CPAP. For example, our oral appliance works to move your lower jaw slightly forward, clearing your obstructed airway. This allows you to breathe consistently throughout the night, without any interruptions.
Oral appliances are favored by many patients because they’re so convenient and easy to use. Their unique snug fit makes it a breeze to sleep through the night without waking up– neither you nor your partner will be awakened by the loud sounds of your snoring or the humming of a CPAP machine.
At our Southeast Michigan dental office, we offer a variety of FDA-approved sleep apnea devices. We even feature one of the smallest digital dental appliances available, known as the Panthera D-SAD; This device is 3D-printed and custom-made just for you. Other types of oral appliances we use include the Dynaflex Dorsal Fin, the Herbst, and the dreamTAP appliance.
Our dental devices are a convenient, innovative solution that provides the following benefits:
- Custom-designed to precisely fit your mouth
- Portable and adjustable
- Small, silent, and secure
- More affordable than CPAP
Generally used for patients suffering from mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, oral appliance treatment can dramatically improve your quality of life. You and your sleep partner will awaken in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to go after a night free from the effects of sleep apnea and snoring.
Additional Alternatives to CPAP
When used in conjunction with professional treatment, there are lifestyle changes you can make to boost your overall health and help relieve your sleep apnea symptoms. These strategies for alleviating your sleep apnea provide maximum benefits for your health.
First, for patients who are overweight, dieting and weight loss play a huge role in enhancing your sleep. Being obese or overweight often causes fat tissue to build up around the throat, and this increases your chances of having an obstructed airway. Undergoing a weight management program will ease your sleep apnea symptoms and increase your overall health.
Altering some of your everyday habits can also provide relief for your sleeping issues. For example, smoking and alcohol consumption have been shown to contribute to sleep apnea. Reducing or eliminating these behaviors will help.
Another strategy that we have our patients employ to ease their sleep apnea symptoms is called positional therapy. Patients are most likely to snore when they sleep on their backs. This behavioral technique works to reposition patients and get them to sleep on their side. Positional therapy often relies upon a special device to help keep you on your side throughout the night.
In some cases, sleep physicians recommend surgery to treat sleep apnea. These surgeries include nasal surgery to correct a deviated septum, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty to remove soft tissue in the back of the throat, or mandibular maxillomandibular advancement surgery which corrects throat obstructions that contribute to sleep apnea.