CPAP Alternatives for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Oct 23, 2023 | Sleep Apnea Treatments

Many people don’t want any part of using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to treat their obstructive sleep apnea. If you’re one of these people, did you know there are CPAP alternatives? Experienced sleep specialists understand the importance of finding the right treatment plan for each patient.

I Hate My CPAP

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic disease that needs long-term treatment, and a CPAP machine is recommended as the initial treatment for moderate or severe OSA by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). However, the effectiveness of a CPAP is dependent upon using the machine consistently and correctly.

Many people learn to tolerate their CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines because of the benefits and some people even love their CPAP machines. However, others struggle with their CPAP machines and hate using them for various reasons. If you hate your CPAP, it’s likely you will not use it consistently.

Common CPAP Complaints

Even though there are many potential benefits to using a CPAP machine, many CPAP users either do not use their machine consistently enough to receive any benefits from it or stop using it.

Some common CPAP complaints are:

  • Masks create feelings of claustrophobia.
  • Masks cause discomfort, skin irritations, or marks.
  • The air pressure might be too strong and can be uncomfortable.
  • Acne breakouts increase for people with acne-prone or sensitive skin.
  • Waking with a dry mouth and/or stuffy nose.
  • Breathing feels out of sync.
  • Wearing a mask to sleep is uncomfortable; some people remove the mask during sleep.
  • The CPAP machine is too loud, and the noise disrupts sleep.
  • Forced air through the nose leads to excessive dryness that can lead to irritation and nosebleeds.
  • The CPAP machine requires periodic cleaning and maintenance.
  • People prone to sinus infections, bronchitis, or pneumonia may experience an increase in infections.

Why It’s Important to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

When obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is not treated or not treated effectively, you can experience short-term sleep apnea symptoms like excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, reduced deep sleep, interrupted sleep, and lack of concentration. If obstructive sleep apnea is left untreated, the short-term symptoms can lead to chronic long-term issues.

It’s important to treat obstructive sleep apnea as soon as possible. Untreated sleep apnea can be a precursor to many debilitating and/or chronic health conditions such as chronic insomnia, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, mental health issues, liver problems, adult asthma, high blood sugar, chronic kidney disease, low blood oxygen levels, a weakened immune system, vision impairment, stroke, heart attack, and even death.

Appropriate treatment of sleep apnea, following a timely diagnosis, may help manage these chronic conditions and keep short-term issues from becoming chronic long-term issues.  Health issues from untreated obstructive sleep apnea can degrade a person’s quality of life, and in some instances, untreated OSA may potentially incapacitate affected individuals.

Finding a CPAP Alternative That Works for You

Several nonsurgical CPAP alternatives can be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, and your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment that will work for you. Alternative treatments may include lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol and sedative medications before bedtime, frequent and/or increased physical exercise, and weight loss when indicated.

Other CPAP alternatives that are nonsurgical treatment options include other PAP (positive airway pressure machines) such as an APAP (auto-adjusting PAP), BPAP (bilevel PAP), or an ASV (adaptive servo-ventilation), oropharyngeal exercises, the use of oral appliances, nasal resistors, and positional therapy.

Sleep Apnea Specialists in Columbus, Ohio

The sleep apnea specialists at Sleep Better Columbus are committed to providing compassionate care for all patients and helping each patient find the best sleep apnea treatment for them. Sleep Better Columbus’s sleep apnea therapy solution is a simple, comfortable solution that will have those with sleep-disordered breathing sleeping better quickly. Their specially designed mouthpieces are an effective and comfortable CPAP alternative for those who are unable or unwilling to wear CPAP masks.

Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment CPAP Alternatives

Oral appliance therapy is a CPAP alternative that is an effective sleep apnea treatment for many people who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An oral appliance is a specially fitted device custom made by a dentist trained in sleep medicine. An oral device’s primary purpose is to keep the airway open during sleep so the normal flow of air during breathing isn’t blocked.

The most common oral appliances are mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue-retaining devices (TRDs). MADs keep your airway unobstructed by moving your jaw forward, and TRDs keep your tongue from sliding to the back of your mouth and blocking your airway.

A qualified dentist trained in dental sleep medicine will choose the right oral appliance for you, based on factors such as mouth size and degree of snoring, and create a custom-fitted oral appliance. Oral appliances are comfortable, relatively nonintrusive, easily portable, and can be appealing CPAP alternatives that make it easier for people to be compliant with their sleep apnea treatment.

To learn more about using oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP treatment, contact the experienced team at Sleep Better Columbus by calling 614-777-7350 or by contacting us online about sleep apnea treatment.

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