Let’s talk about CPAP
What is CPAP Therapy?
So you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), now what? You may not realize the impact sleep apnea is having on your overall health and day-to-day life, but it takes a large toll on every part of your life. From suffering from morning headaches to interrupting work or school activities, sleep apnea is a major disruption of your life. By getting sleep apnea treated, you can take the next step toward a healthy, happy life. Let’s, first, take a look at CPAP Therapy (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) – the most common treatment for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
How Does CPAP Therapy Work?
CPAP therapy has been around since the early 1980’s and is an effective treatment for OSA when worn properly. CPAP helps to keep the airway open while asleep, by the way of a small machine that supplies air through a hose connected to a mask or nose piece. Some common problems associated with CPAP therapy include:
- A leaky mask
- Trouble falling asleep
- A dry mouth or nose
The good news is that if one CPAP mask or device doesn’t work for you, there are other styles available for you to try. The CPAP machine will have one of the following:
- A mask that covers your nose and mouth
- A mask that covers only your nose
- Prongs that fit into your nose
Other Treatment Options
Commonly prescribed alternatives to CPAP include:
Although oral appliances are often worn alone, many people with sleep apnea will benefit from wearing an oral appliance and CPAP together, commonly know as Combination Therapy. An intolerance to CPAP could be a matter of the CPAP being set at too high of a pressure making it uncomfortable to wear while sleeping. Combination Therapy allows the oral appliance to keep the lower jaw forward to prevent a collapse of the soft muscles in the airway while the pressure on the CPAP device is turned down to a more comfortable level.
Your physician will verify the effectiveness of CPAP or oral appliance therapy with follow-up sleep tests.
Research shows that CPAP or oral appliance therapy (or a combination of the two) helps to decrease daytime sleepiness in those with mild or moderate and even severe obstructive sleep apnea. You will use the CPAP machine or prescribed custom-made oral appliance at home every night while you sleep.
Whether you use CPAP or your obstructive sleep apnea is managed with custom oral appliance therapy, your bed partner may sleep better too since you are no longer keeping them awake with your snoring!
Ask Questions to Find The Best Treatment Option For YOU
Talk with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) or a Snoring Isn’t Sexy dentist today for more information on obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP therapy, oral appliance therapy and other options that might be a good fit for your individual condition.