Sleep Apnea 101
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
There are two primary ways to treat sleep apnea. The first is with oral appliance therapy that can prevent obstructions from blocking your airway in the first place. The second is with a CPAP machine or other type of ventilator that would clear obstructions in the airway so you can breathe easily while you sleep.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral Appliance Therapy is a device similar to a retainer that you wear at night. It works by positioning your jaw farther forward to prevent the muscles at the back of the throat from relaxing into the airway. It also prevents the tongue from collapsing backward and obstructing airflow.
What Is a CPAP Machine?
A CPAP machine is another way to treat sleep apnea. It’s a ventilator that generates a continuous stream of air in a base unit that contains a motor. The air then travels from the base unit through a tube that connects to a mask that has to be worn while you sleep.
What Is a BiPAP Machine?
A BiPAP machine is similar to a CPAP machine, but it has two different levels of airflow: one for when you inhale and another for when you exhale. The airflow has a higher pressure upon inhalation and a lower pressure during exhalation.
What Is an APAP Machine?
An APAP machine is another ventilator-type device that is used to treat sleep apnea. This machine has an automatically adjusting airflow that adapts the pressure of the stream of air it produces as needed throughout the night.
Which Is Better for Treating Sleep Apnea: OAT or CPAP?
There are a lot of benefits to using oral appliance therapy instead of a CPAP machine. Many of the downsides of using a CPAP or other ventilator machine are solved by treating sleep apnea with a OAT instead.
CPAP Machines Are Noisy
Sleep apnea results in you continually waking up in the middle of the night as your body reacts to not being able to breathe. Any treatment for sleep apnea should help you sleep, not prevent it. However, CPAP machines and other ventilators can be noisy, which might interrupt your sleep even as it treats sleep apnea. Oral Appliance Therapy, on the other hand, are completely silent.
CPAP Machines Are Bulky
If you have to travel, a CPAP machine can be a major inconvenience. These machines are, at their smallest, the size of a toaster, which can be bulky to travel with. Oral Appliance Therapy, by contrast, is small and convenient to carry with you.
CPAP Machines Are Uncomfortable
CPAP machines can also be uncomfortable to wear. You would need to wear a mask all night, some of which might have headgear that would be needed to keep the mask secure on your face. Oral Appliance Therapy just fits into your mouth like a retainer so you don’t have to wear an uncomfortable mask while you sleep.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Contact us for an alternative treatment to an uncomfortable CPAP machine.