In previous blogs, we’ve discussed how sleep apnea may be a curable condition with weight management, in-office procedures or even surgery in some cases.
But even for those who can’t “fix” their sleep apnea, there are still ways to address the condition without continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.
In this article, we’ll highlight one of the best CPAP alternatives that we’ve had success with over the years: dental appliances.
[Related: Natural Approaches To Avoid Snoring]
What Are CPAP Machines?
For many sleep apnea sufferers, doctors have told them that CPAP machines are the standard solution to their condition.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissues in the mouth and back of the throat relax during sleep, which obstructs airflow and causes you to stop breathing.
CPAP machines provide a continuous high-pressure airflow that keeps the airway from collapsing during sleep. These devices are clinically proven to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms, increase sleep quality and benefit overall health.
But CPAP machines aren’t necessarily the best option for everyone.
Dr. Tuck’s Story
Dr. Tuck’s pulmonologist prescribed her CPAP treatment after her sleep study revealed she had moderate OSA. Unfortunately, her CPAP treatment only added to her symptoms.
“It caused me to cough. It made my throat feel dry and sore. It wasn’t so much sleeping with the apparatus on my head … it was the air coming through my nose,” she recounted.
So Dr. Tuck asked her pulmonologist about CPAP alternatives, but they told her the machine was her only option. She sought out second opinions, but according to Tuck, “[E]very doctor I spoke to thought that CPAP was the end-all-be-all.”
[Related: How To Sleep Better While Traveling]
Dental Appliances as CPAP Alternatives
With more than 20 years under her belt as a collegiate-level educator, Dr. Tuck knew there must be another answer — and she wasn’t afraid to do her homework to find it.
“I don’t believe in the world ‘no.’ I always taught my students that there’s more than one answer to every question,” she said.
One day, Dr. Tuck spotted a familiar face on television who brought new hope to her predicament: Dr. Raza Pasha.
Fortunately, Dr. Pasha was on “Great Day Houston” for an interview with Deborah Duncan. They were discussing dental appliances as an effective way to alleviate OSA symptoms.
Dental appliances work by positioning the jaw forward. More accurately, they prevent the jaw from going backward at night so that the airways remain open. While CPAP machines blast air through collapsed airways to force them open, dental appliances prevent the airways from collapsing in the first place.
For some patients who suffer from mild to moderate OSA, these devices can alleviate symptoms without a CPAP machine.
[Related: Traveling With a CPAP Machine]
Results at Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center
Luckily, dental appliances worked as CPAP alternatives for Dr. Tuck: “It was like a divine intervention — everything just came together.”
She made an appointment with the Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center.
There, she was surprised that Dr. Pasha uses the latest equipment for dental appliance fitting, inducing digital mouth scans that produce a three-dimensional image of the mouth to create an almost-flawless fit. This process is much more accurate than biting into the fairly error-prone molding for impressions.
Two months after receiving her device, she’s incredibly pleased with the effect it’s had on her life. “I feel much better, I look better, and I’m moving around faster!” she reported.
Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is nothing to sniff (or snore) at. Left untreated, the condition can lead to a host of negative health effects, including weight gain, high blood pressure and even heart attacks.
When we asked why she was willing to go through so much effort to find the right sleep doctor for her condition, Dr. Tuck didn’t mince words. “I don’t want to die young if I can help it,” she replied.
To complicate matters, CPAP machines often go unused.
Compliance is a big problem when it comes to OSA treatment. In fact, studies have shown that a significant percentage of OSA patients who receive CPAP prescriptions either never fill their prescription or stop using the machine within five years.
[Related: A Guide on Popular Anti-Snoring Devices]
Contact Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center for CPAP Alternatives
At the Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center, we understand that comfort is vital to a good night’s sleep. If patients are uncomfortable using their CPAP machine, they’re less likely to use it.
In that case, just prescribing a machine isn’t a real (or viable) solution. That’s why we’ve created our own in-house program for crafting dental appliances, as well as numerous other CPAP alternatives for sleep apnea sufferers.
Why risk your health when a comfortable solution is only a phone call or click away?
If you or someone you love doesn’t use a CPAP machine due to discomfort, make an appointment at the Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center today! Together, we’ll find a comfortable solution that treats your unique condition.
CPAP image via Flickr under Creative Commons License