CPAP Alternative Treatments
What is CPAP?
Sleep apnea disrupts the lives of millions of Americans, but there are effective treatments available. One of the most commonly prescribed treatments is the CPAP machine, which keeps the patient’s airway open by blowing a steady stream of warm air into a mask that the patient wears over their face.
CPAP is an effective sleep apnea treatment, but it does have some drawbacks. If you’ve been prescribed CPAP and you find that it’s difficult to wear throughout the night, you’re not alone. In fact, many patients complain that CPAP is loud and it limits their motion during the night. That’s why it’s common for patients to stop using CPAP after less than a year.
No matter how effective a particular treatment is, it won’t work if patients aren’t comfortable using it. If you’ve already tried CPAP and found it wasn’t for you, or if this is your first time seeking treatment for sleep apnea, Dr. Ura will find the treatment that works best for you.
At the Center for Dental Sleep Health, many of our sleep apnea patients find relief using our convenient oral appliances. Similar in appearance to a dental retainer, an oral appliance is a wearable device designed to treat sleep apnea by preventing your tongue and soft oral tissue from obstructing your airway. These portable dental mouthpieces are very effective for treating mild to moderate sleep apnea patients.
Since your oral appliance is custom-made and designed just for you, it will fit comfortably in your mouth. It’s small, quiet, and it doesn’t require a power source, so you can take it anywhere. Our patients really appreciate the freedom they get with an oral appliance.
Positive Lifestyle Changes
Dr. Ura will work with a sleep physician to determine the ideal sleep apnea treatment for you. Dr. Ura also recommends positive lifestyle changes that will help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms. These healthy steps will also enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
Being obese or overweight is a major risk factor for sleep apnea, so controlling your weight will certainly help reduce the severity of your sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the result of having an airway that’s too constricted to allow air to pass through, and obesity aggravates this by putting additional pressure on the airway.
Alcohol use contributes to the effects of sleep apnea, especially when you drink before bedtime. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat relax and allow tissue to fall back into your throat, blocking the airway. This process is exacerbated by alcohol. That’s why it’s best to avoid alcohol, especially at night.
Tobacco products such as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco such as dip and chew damage your health in numerous ways. Research demonstrates that the nicotine in tobacco makes patients more susceptible to sleep issues, including sleep apnea.
Quitting tobacco isn’t easy, but it will improve your sleep and your health; The American Cancer Society has resources that can help.
Additional Strategies to Alleviate Your Symptoms
There are a number of additional treatment options for sleep apnea. For example, tongue retaining devices, nasal decongestants, positional therapy, tongue exercises, and surgery are all methods used to help restore healthy respiratory function.
In some cases, a sleep physician will recommend surgical treatment for sleep apnea. Common surgical procedures for alleviating sleep apnea include removing and repositioning extra soft tissue in the throat, correcting a deviated septum, opening the nasal passage, or repositioning the jawbone forward.
We’ll work closely with a sleep physician to ensure that you achieve the best possible results for treating your sleep apnea. Discover the benefits of a full night’s sleep and wake up feeling renewed and ready for a new day with the help of Dr. Ura and our Nashua dental team.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do oral therapy appliances last?
Oral therapy appliances aren’t designed to last a lifetime. Typically, an oral therapy appliance will last around one to two years. After that, the materials start to weaken and they lose efficiency. If you chose to use an oral device for sleep apnea, you’ll want to replace it regularly.
Are oral therapy appliances covered by insurance?
In most cases, the cost of your sleep apnea treatment is covered or supplemented by your medical insurance provider. However, it’s always best to contact your insurance provider to review and understand your coverage.
Our office is trained and experienced to help patients receive the care they deserve. If you’d like, we’d be more than happy to assist you and ensure you obtain your maximum amount of benefits at a minimal cost. Call our office at (603) 237-1124 if you have any questions or concerns.