Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that can disturb your sleep and cause chronic fatigue during the day. Sleep apnea is also associated with a number of health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is used to treat sleep apnea.
CPAP works by delivering a steady stream of air to keep your throat open while you sleep. It’s a very safe treatment and has a high success rate for patients who stick to it, but it’s not always the right solution for everyone. If you have sleep apnea and find your CPAP equipment uncomfortable or noisy, Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos can help you find an effective CPAP alternatives.
What’s wrong with CPAP?
Standard CPAP equipment includes a mask that you wear on your face while you sleep and a machine that sits on your nightstand or on a table by your bed. The main difficulty many people experience with CPAP equipment is the nuisance of the mask, it can be uncomfortable and difficult to get a good fit.
Other problems people experience are:
It can cause dryness of the nasal passages and throat.
It is difficult to pack when traveling.
Parts of the equipment such as filters, tubing, chin straps and mouthpieces must be replaced regularly adding an expense to your monthly budget.
CPAP alternatives that can put you to sleep for good
If you have found that CPAP equipment is not for you, you may be a good candidate for a CPAP alternative. What are they?
Other positive airway pressure (PAP) devices
BiPAP, bi-level positive airway pressure, and VPAP, an even more sophisticated device,differ slightly from the traditional CPAP machine, but they do little to eliminate the main objections that CPAP users have. Many sleep apnea patients are looking for something completely different.
Many sleep apnea patients have what is called positional sleep apnea. If you’re one of them, it means your symptoms occur more frequently when you are lying on your back. Specialty products such as body belts, cushions and body pillows have been designed to encourage you to sleep on your side. This treatment is great for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea, but not for those with a more severe case.
If you have severe sleep apnea and you’ve tried PAP treatment without success, surgery might be a choice you want to consider. The two most common surgical procedures for obstructive sleep apnea treatment are Maxillomandibular advancement and Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.
Surgery is a serious undertaking. To be sure surgery is the right for you, you need to be fully aware of every aspect of the procedure and recovery time. Dr. Nancy Nehawandian of Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos will make sure you are well informed, comfortable and confident if she deems surgery a treatment that will work for you.
Sleep apnea dental appliances look just like mouth guards, except they move your tongue or lower jaw forward, opening your airway, and making it easier to breathe. Although not suitable for patients with severe sleep apnea, when used correctly, they are safe, effective and relatively reliable.
Provent is one of the most recent CPAP alternatives available to sleep apnea sufferers. Provent consists of two small patches with plugs that fit into your nostrils. When you breathe in a valve opens, allowing the air. As you breathe out , however, the valve narrows so the air is exhaled out through a smaller channel, creating back pressure which keeps your airway open. Effective for mild to severe sleep apnea, the biggest drawback Provent is its cost. At about $2 per night, it is more expansive than CPAP in the long run.
CPAP alternatives: Get the Right One
Sleep apnea is a complex condition with a wide variety of treatments. Certified in sleep apnea and snoring devices and treatment, Top Down Dental’s Dr. Nancy Nehawnadian, has the skills, training, knowledge and dedication to excellence to help you find the best solution to your sleep apnea or snoring problems. To get your CPAP alternative, call us at (408) 354-5600, or book an appointment online.