Discover CPAP Alternatives from Dr. Iregui
CPAP machines are one of the most effective solutions for sleep apnea, but many patients find them hard to sleep with. In fact, many patients stop using CPAP after less than a year. Patients often say that CPAP machines make them feel claustrophobic. They also complain that they’re noisy, irritate the skin, and dry out nasal passages.
Dr. Iregui at SoundBridge Dental offers alternatives to CPAP for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Oral Appliances: Comfortable. Convenient. Portable.
An oral appliance is a small, custom-made, easy-to-use alternative to CPAP. The device will gently and slightly move your jaw forward, just enough to clear the obstruction that is preventing you from sleeping properly.
Also known as a mandibular advancement appliance, a snore guard, or a mouthpiece, this therapeutic dental device has myriad benefits.
- Small, portable, and convenient to travel with
- Non-electric, unlike CPAP, resulting in zero excess noise while you sleep
- Custom-designed to provide maximum comfort
After carefully considering all the important factors, Dr. Iregui will recommend the ideal treatment plan for you. Oral appliance brands available at SoundBridge include Herbst appliance, AVEO, Narval, Oasys, Oravan Herbst, SUAD, and SUAD Ultra.
Additional CPAP Alternatives
As mentioned above, sleep apnea treatments vary patient to patient. Along with oral appliances, there are other alternatives to CPAP that will help reduce your symptoms of sleep apnea. Lifestyle changes, positional therapy, and potential surgeries are all options for you to help get a good night’s sleep.
Simple lifestyle changes to your daily routine and diet can have a positive effect on your sleep apnea. If you’re a smoker, quitting can make a huge impact on your condition. In addition, minimizing alcohol consumption and the use of sleeping pills will also ease your symptoms. Weight loss is another effective treatment for those who are overweight and obese. Simple dieting and exercising work great for many patients.
Positional therapy– training yourself to sleep on your side — is another way certain patients can help their sleep apnea. There are a few simple, and complex, techniques and devices that aim to prevent those people from sleeping on their back. For example, wear a pocketed t-shirt backwards and insert a tennis ball in the pocket. When you roll on your back at night, the ball will maneuver you to turn on your side.
A number of surgeries are also available, including nasal surgery, adenoidectomies, maxillomandibular advancement surgery, and the tracheostomy. Newer treatments, such as the laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty and the palate Coblation®, are less invasive but are also less tested and can be more expensive
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CPAP Work For Everyone?
No. Simply put, the CPAP is not the ideal form of treatment for everyone living with sleep apnea. While it is the most common form of treatment, many patients experience great difficulty adjusting to the face mask. Problems or side effects associated with using a CPAP machine include dry sinuses and headaches. If you’re currently using a CPAP machine for treatment but find it uncomfortable, contact Dr. Iregui for an alternative treatment option.
What Should You Do If You Suspect You May Have Sleep Apnea?
If you think you or your partner is living with undiagnosed sleep apnea, getting an official diagnosis is extremely important. At our Gig Harbor dental office, Dr. Iregui works with local health professionals to conduct a sleep study and analyze the results for an accurate diagnosis.
Can Sleep Apnea Go Away Without Treatment?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea will not miraculously disappear if you ignore it. It’s a serious condition that can lead to a number of secondary health problems and even death when left untreated. Getting a proactive diagnosis and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the best way to improve your quality of life and protect your overall health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can also make a positive impact.
If you’re suffering from obesity, implementing an exercise regimen and healthy diet into your daily routine can help you shed excess weight and decrease symptoms of sleep apnea. Additionally, refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol may also help reduce your symptoms.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Sleep Apnea?
If sleep apnea treatment is neglected, there are serious and even deadly consequences that may ensue. In fact, sleep apnea has been related to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack risk
- Irregular heartbeats
- Dry mouth
- Decreased libido
- Inability to concentrate