Alternatives to a CPAP.
According to the CDC, about 35% of American adults don’t get a full night’s rest. One reason for poor sleep is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops for a brief time then restarts. Sleep apnea can cause many complications, including daytime fatigue, high blood pressure or liver problems. Sleep partners also report poor sleep habits due to their partner’s sleep apnea. If you don’t feel rested in the morning or if your partner complains about loud snoring, you could have sleep apnea.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is caused by a restricted airway. The airway is too narrow to provide the needed oxygen to allow your body to rest. You cannot reach the deep phase of sleep it needs to fully rejuvenate. This leaves you feeling tired and irritable in the morning, even if you slept all night. You may also have a morning headache or wake up with a dry throat.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
One of the most common treatment options for sleep apnea is a CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, CPAP is the most reliable method for treating sleep apnea. This machine delivers air pressure through a mask, keeping your airway open while you sleep, which prevents apnea. The CPAP is typically required for the rest of your life since it’s not actually addressing the root cause of why your airway obstructs. Despite its ability to be a very effective treatment, most patients get worse over time and will need to increase the amount of positive pressure to continue its efficacy. CPAP have also been known to induce Central Sleep Apnea events due to the positive pressure blowing off all the CO2 levels and fooling your body into thinking it doesn’t need to breathe. There is a lot of bulk in the unit. The mask you put on your face can cause claustrophobia and the large size of the unit big makes it difficult to travel with. Compliance with CPAP use is also very low and insurance companies have even started tracking how many hours a patient uses it to make sure it’s being utilized.
Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
Thankfully, the dental field has been able to offer alternative treatments to CPAP through oral appliances. These appliances are worn at night and hold the lower jaw forward to prevent the tongue and other tissues from falling back and obstructing the airway. But just like CPAP, these conventional oral appliances are to be worn for the rest of the patient’s life and their sleep apnea condition often times still gets worse over time.
Here at the Breathing and Sleep Center, we address the root causes of sleep apnea and permanently grow the airway without invasive surgery. Instead of just holding an airway open at night, we give people a bigger airway to breathe all day and all night long. Since we treat the root cause, our treatment is not intended to last a lifetime like CPAP and conventional oral appliances.