Treating Sleep Apnea: CPAP & Its Alternatives

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Why Do People Seek Alternatives for CPAP?

Sleep is an important part of life that many people don’t value nearly enough until they’ve lost it. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes people to wake up frequently throughout the night due to pauses in their breath. Once it’s developed, sleep apnea can negatively change a person’s life.

A traditional method of treatment that people often turn to first is CPAP. This stands for continuous positive airway pressure and consists of a bulky machine and face mask. The mask goes over your nose to deliver consistent airflow, which helps clear the obstruction that’s causing temporary loss of breath.

Many patients have found CPAP to be disruptive and invasive to both them and their sleep partners. Due to the bulkiness of the machine, sleep apnea sufferers are required to sleep on their backs the entire night which can become uncomfortable and restricting. Additionally, the machine makes a loud noise which can disrupt their partner’s sleep pattern.

Benefits of Oral Appliances

While the purpose of CPAP is to treat sleep apnea, patients find it to be more intrusive than helpful. Thanks to modern technology, there’s a new and effective form of treatment for sleep apnea.

 

Oral appliances, also referred to as snore guards or mandibular advancement appliances, are small, customized mouth guards that fit onto your teeth and work to slightly move your jaw forward.

There are multiple types of oral appliances to help you find the most comfortable treatment option. The appliances are personalized to accommodate each patient’s unique sleep patterns and relieve their symptoms.

Benefits of using Oral Appliances over CPAP include:

  • Portability — their size allows you to travel easily with them
  • Silent— they won’t wake up you and your partner during the night
  • Mobility — they allow you to sleep in more positions than on your back
  • Energy Conservation — you don’t have to plug them in unlike CPAP
alternative to CPAP

Oral appliances are most beneficial for those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea, but people with obstructive sleep apnea should consider this treatment as well. Dr. Boscia also recommends appliances to people who grind their teeth and snore.

Additional CPAP Alternatives

There are a variety of factors that can be causing your sleep apnea, which is why it’s important to consider all of your treatment options. These factors include your health and weight.

Obesity is a leading cause of sleep apnea, which is why exercise is an excellent method of sleep apnea relief to consider. Dr. Boscia recommends going on daily walks, joining a gym, or even hiring a personal trainer.

Sleep apnea is caused by obstructions such as the throat collapsing or the tongue falling to the back of the throat. Performing exercises that focus on those specific muscles is a great way to strengthen them and reduce sleep apnea symptoms.

Examples of these exercises include:

  • Touching your tongue to your nose
  • Gargling with water
  • Holding your tongue between your teeth
A woman sitting on the ground in workout gear holding a water bottle.

Dr. Boscia Can Restore Your Sleep

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea or looking for an alternative for CPAP, contact our office in Lake St. Louis, MO. We’re happy to help you find the right treatment option so you can obtain quality sleep.

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