Treating Sleep Apnea:
What is CPAP & Why Do People Seek Alternatives?
The most common treatment method for people suffering from sleep apnea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. The CPAP mask is attached tightly to your face while they sleep, sending a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat, ensuring that your airway stays open during sleep.
Although CPAP machines can be extremely beneficial, many patients find the treatment to be uncomfortable, restrictive, and irritating. This commonly results in patients not using their CPAP machine at all. Missing out on this essential treatment for sleep apnea leads to major health risks.
Oral Appliances & Their Benefits
Many patients who suffer from mild to moderate sleep are looking for an alternative to CPAP. And that’s what our convenient oral appliances provide. These custom-fit devices gently reposition your lower jaw forward while you sleep, just enough to clear the obstruction that’s blocking your airway.
Oral appliances allow you to breathe at a regular rate throughout the night without interruption. That way, you can get a full night of restful sleep.
The benefits of an oral appliance include:
- Custom-made to fit you
- Adjustable and portable
- Small, quiet, non-intrusive
- More affordable than CPAP
After you’ve begun treatment with your personalized oral appliance, we’ll have you return to our Westlake Village office for a follow-up appointment. We make sure the device fits properly and it’s working right.
Other Alternatives to CPAP
Sleep apnea can root from different factors depending on a person’s sleep position and the intensity of their snoring. Positional therapy consists of strategies to help you avoid sleep positions that make you more susceptible to sleep apnea. Also, practicing throat exercises for 30 minutes-a-day can help reduce the severity of snoring and sleep apnea by strengthen the muscles around the airway.
Surgery is another alternative treatment option for patients with sleep apnea. For example, a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, or a small lower jaw with an overbite are all factors that can contribute to sleep apnea. There are vaious effective sleep apnea treatment surgeries, including treatments that widen the airways through the nose or throat to allow you to breathe freely.
Strategies for Reducing the Effects of Sleep Apnea
In addition to surgery and oral appliances, there are additional ways to reduce the effects of sleep apnea. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the effects of sleep apnea.
Altering certain aspects of your daily routine can help relieve your snoring and sleep apnea symptoms and improve your sleep. Weight gain has a strong correlation to sleep apnea. For obese and overweight patients, dieting and exercising can be an effective way to help reduce snoring and restless sleeping.
Smoking tobacco, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and abusing prescription medication are all factors that can exacerbate your obstructive sleep apnea. Changing these behaviors will help relieve your sleep apnea symptoms in addition to boosting your overall health.
Questions About Your CPAP & Oral Appliance
How is sleep apnea treated?
Generally, sleep apnea is initially treated with a CPAP machine. However, many patients don’t stick to treatment with a CPAP due to its loud sound, intrusive fit to the face, and constant air flow pressure through the mouth.
We offer premium, custom-made, and adjustable oral appliances to effectively and comfortably treat patients with OSA instead of using a CPAP. We may also offer other alternatives to relieve your loud snoring, or some surgeries are available to treat sleep apnea.
What if I still snore while using my CPAP?
Snoring while using a CPAP should not occur. If you’re still snoring, contact your sleep doctor right away and they may be able to adjust your pressure level or recommend an alternative treatment.
Does insurance cover oral appliance therapy?
Your oral appliance may be covered by your medical insurance, but never by your dental insurance. You should always check with your medical insurance provider before deciding to more forward with treatment to see what they’ll cover.
Are oral appliances safe to use?
Yes. More than 100 types of oral appliances have been FDA-approved and are completely safe to use. Additonally, they’re extremely comfortable and easy to use.