CPAP machines have long been the best way to mitigate these uncomfortable symptoms of sleep apnea, like blocked airways during sleep and interruptions in breathing. But what if there was something better? With exciting innovations in technology and new research on sleep apnea, there are plenty of alternatives to the traditional CPAP machine.
Are you using a traditional CPAP machine for sleep apnea and still uncomfortable at night? You could be breathing better with other options. Use this guide to help you find the best alternative to CPAP machine use for your needs.
Common Problems with CPAP Machines
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The device consists of a mask, headgear, and a humidifier tank, all connected by tubing. That’s a lot of equipment just to get a good night of rest. Competitive alternatives with impressive benefits have luckily begun to appear on the market.
While CPAP machines were once the most cutting-edge innovation, medical technology continues to evolve. The flaws that users find with these machines continue to pile up. A few of the problems that are commonly found with these devices include:
- Travel difficulties: Navigating a trip or vacation with a CPAP machine can become a logistical nightmare. Transporting it, using it on the go, and cleaning it while away can present challenges that beg the question: what are my alternatives?
- Sleep Interruptions: This intrusive machine can cause users to wake up or experience unrestful sleep as a result of throat/sinus irritation, anxiety or discomfort due to the mask, and more.
- Noise: While these devices do their job well, they make a lot of noise doing it. This can disturb residents of the home, particularly the CPAP user.
Owners of these appliances are searching for more convenient and comfortable alternatives that help prevent these issues. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the best options below for an alternative to CPAP machine use.
Best Alternative to CPAP Machine
If you hope to avoid the disruptive side effects of the intrusive CPAP device, try a few of these alternatives. Keep in mind that they all work differently and won’t offer the same benefits. Some are preventative and slow the development of sleep apnea, while others minimize your symptoms, so the machine is not necessary. Others are entirely different treatment solutions.
We recommend researching each option and speaking with our team of sleep professionals to determine which is the best alternative for you.
Oral Sleep Appliances/Dental Sleep Medicine
One of the leading treatments that many patients have begun requesting is the use of discrete oral sleep appliances.
Imagine, instead of setting up your loud, cumbersome CPAP machine every night, you simply insert a mouthguard. This dental sleep medicine treatment focuses on the jaw, moving it forward in the mouth so that the throat can be left unobstructed.
The mouthguard method works just like older, more traditional treatments that prevent breathing interruptions overnight. However, as opposed to other methods, this way of mitigating sleep apnea throughout the night is more convenient and easier to use.
You can expect benefits like:
- Mouthguards don’t create the level of disruptive noise that CPAP machines tend to emit.
- These appliances are small and therefore easy to travel with, unlike large devices.
- It is simple and convenient to insert the mouthguard at night as well as clean it between uses.
Oral sleep appliances treat sleep apnea by inducing higher-quality rest in a new way that is more convenient than other products. Users find that the corrective jaw feature provides them a clear path for breathing overnight, meaning a reduction in snoring and waking up.
Researchers have studied the relationship between alcohol consumption and sleep apnea risk and found that higher alcohol consumption correlated to a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. This supports the idea that reducing alcohol intake could prevent the necessity of a CPAP machine for sleep apnea in the future.
Other lifestyle changes like smoking, sleep patterns or positions, and exercise or physical activity can also have massive impacts on sleep apnea and CPAP use.
The best lifestyle changes to implement that can help prevent the necessity of a machine are:
- Cut out cigarettes and alcohol to prevent your airway muscles from swelling or relaxing to interrupt sleep
- Increase your daily physical exercise routine
- Lay on one side or the other overnight, rather than on your back or stomach
- Stay hydrated and decongested to keep nasal passages from becoming inflamed or congested and interrupting sleep
However, while lifestyle changes may certainly help, they only offer small improvements to your rest. A device like a mouthguard is designed to treat OSA head-on and will bring more substantial results.
In some cases, your physician may find that your OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is caused by a solvable medical issue. In those specific cases, surgery may be advised. Surgery is often not the most practical, affordable, or convenient solution, but in some scenarios, under doctors’ orders, it may be advisable.
There are a few different surgeries known to treat OSA. These procedures can cover operations on the tongue, jaw, chest, and even throat and uvula. Some of the most common procedures available include:
- Hypoglossal nerve stimulation
- Tongue reduction surgery
- Adenoid removal
- Tonsil removal
- Genioglossus advancement
- Jaw surgery
- Soft palate implants
- Nasal surgery
Breathe Better Today
If you’re sick of the difficulties that accompany traditional OSA devices, you have options. And surgery is not necessary to enjoy better sleep every night. Trust our team at Muscaro and Martini Dentistry to provide convenient and unintrusive solutions to your sleep apnea symptoms.
Our convenient location in Tampa, Florida is available for appointment booking, so be sure to schedule yours now. We’d love to fit you for a corrective oral sleep appliance that provides improved sleep. Call today to hear about how our cutting-edge techniques and technology could be the key to a restful night.