CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most commonly prescribed treatment for OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). It’s also the nemesis of countless sleep apnea patients. Thankfully, it’s not the only option. Lake County, OH patients turn to experienced sleep dentist Dr. Stern for effective CPAP alternatives.
What’s the Problem With CPAP?
In effectiveness, CPAP rates highly, in patient satisfaction, the opposite is true. In fact, many studies have found that well over half of all patients stop using CPAP, or don’t use it regularly. Some of the most common reasons cited include:
- The mask is uncomfortable, even with nasal pillows
- The machine is noisy, and it’s cumbersome when traveling
- Forced air is uncomfortable or intolerable
- Some people are allergic to the masks
- Difficulty sleeping while using CPAP – average nightly use averages around 4 ½ hours
- Nasal congestion, allergies, and similar symptoms
Exploring Your Options – CPAP Alternatives
Not everyone experiences the above problems with CPAP. However, if you’re among those who can’t tolerate CPAP or APAP (Auto Positive Airway Pressure), you’re probably looking at several alternatives. It’s important to be careful when choosing.
Over the counter products such as Provent therapy, Provent nasal strips, or a chin strap for sleep apnea might be tempting, but they’re suboptimal for many reasons. First of all, when considering any medical or dental device, a mass-produced product is rarely the best choice. Everybody is different, quite literally, and a proper fit requires customization. “One size fits all” usually means that it fits no one perfectly.
For a safe, reliable alternative to CPAP that is customized to your needs, Dr. Stern recommends oral appliance therapy. This treatment involves only a small, discreet, appliance, which is somewhat similar to a mouthguard. It’s worn nightly to support the jaw, preventing it from moving back during sleep. This helps hold the airway open, so that you can breathe easily, naturally, and without a machine.
Who Is a Good Candidate For an Oral/Dental Device?
If you want to improve your quality of sleep and quality of life, oral appliance therapy may be right for you. The best candidates are typically people who:
- Have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and cannot tolerate CPAP
- Use CPAP, but need a convenient alternative when traveling
- Don’t have sleep apnea, but want effective relief from snoring
- Want a solution that will fit in a pocket, and feels comfortable when worn
- Want to sleep through the night, and feel great in the morning
Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you think a sleep apnea or a snoring appliance may be right for you, come see Dr. Stern for a free consultation at Snoring & CPAP Solutions LLC. Contact us at our Lake County practice by calling (440) 833-6008 or by filling out our convenient online contact form.
WHAT WE DO
CPAP Alternative: Continuous Open Airway Therapy (COAT)
Snoring and CPAP Solutions LLC
Snoring and CPAP Solutions LLC is committed to helping patients with sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea that interferes with their day to day life. Dr. Stern is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and holds more than 2 decades of experience in the field.
Dr. Michael Stern
Frequently Asked Questions
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and this type of machine is commonly prescribed to treat sleep apnea. You’ll wear a mask over your mouth and nose that’s connected to the CPAP machine. Through this mask, air will be pushed into your throat to keep your airway from collapsing while you’re asleep.
Yes, oral appliances are a viable alternative to CPAP machines for many people. Oral appliances can be just as effective as CPAP for sleep apnea and they can also help stop snoring.
These devices are smaller and they’re created custom for your mouth, so they’re more comfortable. Oral appliances are easier to travel with and they won’t take up much room in your luggage or your bedroom.
Sleep apnea is often treated, not cured. While it may be possible for some people to cure their sleep apnea through weight loss or surgery, most treatments won’t cure the condition. But professional treatment aided by positive lifestyle changes can greatly improve your life and help you avoid serious health conditions.
Yes, oral appliance therapy can be a solution to snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. Oral appliances move your lower jaw forward and prevent your tongue from falling backward, keeping your airway open during sleep. To be effective, however, oral appliances must be customized to fit your mouth.
While sleep apnea isn’t a disease that is genetically inherited, you may inherit a smaller airway which could increase your chances of developing sleep apnea. A smaller airway determines if an individual is more inclined to have a collapsing airway while sleeping.
It’s important to remember that sleep apnea is just the closing of an airway while an individual sleeps, creating a partial or complete blockage. So, when a patient has a first-degree relative with sleep apnea – it increases the risk of developing sleep apnea by 50%.