Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or simply CPAP, is the gold standard in treating patients with sleep apnea. CPAP is the most widely used sleep apnea treatment because it is extremely effective. CPAP requires that the patient wear a mask while sleeping. The mask is connected to a machine via an air hose and the hose delivers a continuous and steady flow of pressurized air. Many patients describe the feeling as “being blown up like a balloon.” The continuous pressure keeps the airway from collapsing. A partially collapsed airway results in snoring, and a fully collapsed airway results in the much more dangerous Sleep Apnea.
Cannot wear your CPAP? You have another choice: Oral Appliances
Even though CPAP is the go-to treatment for sleep apnea, as many as 70% of patients do not do well with it. Among other issues, patients who are fitted with a CPAP often complain of the discomfort. Many cannot wear the mask, others are often unable to sleep due to the noise, and some complain that CPAP restricts their movement during sleep. Several complain about rashes caused by the mask or frustration with the straps that hold the mask in place.
“For whatever reason, if a patient does not or cannot comply with CPAP treatment, his sleep apnea is not being treated. These patients must have a CPAP alternative”
For those patients who do not do well using the CPAP machine there are options. The best alternative to CPAP is Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). “The Practice Parameters for Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances” by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine established guidelines for OAT. Oral appliances can be first-line treatment for Sleep Apnea patients diagnosed as Mild or Moderate. Oral Appliances are an alternative treatment for patients diagnosed with Severe Sleep Apnea if they cannot tolerate CPAP. Simply speaking, these appliances work by moving the lower jaw forward and opening the “collapsible” part of the airway.
Are you looking for an Alternative to CPAP?
Are you interested in learning more about CPAP Alternatives? Dr. Hair will utilize some testing to determine your suitability for Oral Appliance Therapy before any money is spent on the appliance.
Contact us today so that we may get you on the road to recovery.