Make 2015 a year of healthy sleep with CPAP alternatives
Do you dream of wearing a mask to bed each night? Probably not. Well, great news! The average sufferer of sleep apnea has many choices for CPAP alternatives that allow for healthy sleep without the many drawbacks of the CPAP.
The most common course of treatment for sufferers of sleep apnea, CPAP is often touted as the only viable non-surgical option for all who have obstructive sleep disorders. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and treats sleep apnea by pumping pressurized air into your throat and lungs to help keep your airway open and supply air to your body. For severe sleep apnea CPAP is the only non-surgical route but many people do not fall into the severe category and, therefore, have many more options. Understanding the spectrum of CPAP alternatives for sleep apnea treatment can open up a whole new world of healthy sleep without the inconvenience of a CPAP.
CPAP is certainly not the only (or best) treatment for everyone. CPAP has many disadvantages, including:
- Nose and throat irritation
- Skin irritation due to mask
- Dryness of the airway
- Increased sinus infection risk
- Inability to sleep due to limited mobility
- Sensation of smothering
These minor irritations combine to create the largest disadvantage of CPAP: CPAP intolerance. People who have CPAP intolerance are unable to adjust to their CPAP machine, and either do not use it regularly or do not use it for the recommended amount of time each night.
Some studies have shown that CPAP compliance may be as low as 50% in some groups. Other studies define “good” compliance as just 4+ hours per night on 70% of nights. When people do not use CPAP, they essentially have no sleep apnea treatment.
For the average person suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, the easiest CPAP alternative is oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy is a more comfortable and convenient sleep apnea treatment. It consists of a simple mouthpiece that you put in before going to sleep. There are many different sleep apnea appliances that can be used to target specific anatomical causes of your obstructive sleep apnea. It is important that you do not confuse these with over-the-counter snoring appliances that are ineffective against snoring and have no effect on your sleep apnea.
So, go ahead and scratch that CPAP off your Christmas list! Call 720-317-2700 or email us to come in for a full sleep apnea evaluation and to get information about the CPAP alternative available for you. We can help you make 2015 the year you sleep like a baby!