Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way minimizing the importance of CPAP. CPAP is still the first choice for treating obstructive sleep apnea. The problem is that compliance is low. (Compliance is the adherence to the time and pressure setting recommended for a patient to utilize the CPAP unit.) Sometimes lack of compliance is discomfort, sometimes air leakage, sometimes a claustrophobic feeling and sometimes it's just emotionally unsettling.
There are a growing number of couples whose sexuality has been disrupted by sleep problems and even by their solutions. Lack of adequate sleep leaves many too tired for sex, others are so annoyed by a bed partner's snoring that even the thought of sexual intimacy is out of the question. Men who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea can even have physical problems with erectile dysfunction.
For some the CPAP unit itself is the turn-off. The tubing and hum from the machine are a deterrent to sexual intimacy. Comments like "It's like sleeping with DarthVader" and "the most unromantic device ever" can be found in social networking sites all over the Internet. And yet, many physicians fail to offer an alternative.
The only advice offered by physicians usually amounts to "Suck it up and wear the CPAP!" Dr. Michael Breus states at his blog "Certainly you can think of a million reasons - other than a CPAP machine - for why you're not feeling randy. You're simply not trying hard enough (no pun intended)."
Why, when there is an alternative, one that has been researched and approved,one that effectively manages the airway and one that is readily accepted by patients who cannot tolerate CPAP - is it not offered by most of the medical community?
If you feel that you are "Too Sexy for CPAP" ask your physician to refer you to a dentist who has received post-doctoral education in dental sleep medicine for an evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy. The dentist you are referred to will work with your physician to find the most appropriate therapy for you.