When it comes to the treatment of sleep apnea a lot of patients wonder if CPAP is the only option.

When a sleep specialist tells a patient they have sleep apnea, the patient frequently imagines spending the night wearing a mask connected to a big, loud, uncomfortable, and disruptive machine that would keep their partner awake.

If they’re being honest, they might also be visualizing their dad or an elderly uncle using one of the more traditional CPAP devices they were exposed to and heard while they were young CPAP and sleep apnea usually walks hand in hand

It’s true that the picture isn’t attractive. The machines and masks used in CPAP therapy, however, have advanced significantly.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are no longer the bulky, noisy devices of the past. The most extensively studied and most efficient treatment for sleep apnea now accessible is continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP), which has advanced significantly in terms of design, technology, and function.

Unless sleep apnea is exceedingly minor or CPAP treatment has failed for a number of different reasons, sleep specialists and medical professionals advise CPAP treatment for the condition. This is because, for the vast majority of people, CPAP is the most affordable and effective treatment.

Adjusting the pressure, selecting a new mask, or changing the fit of the patient’s mask typically fixes this issue for patients who struggle to adhere to their treatment or have problems wearing it regularly.

CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea is beneficial in treating sleep apnea and comorbidities, more than one-third of people who try it stop using it so they seek alternatives to CPAP for sleep apnea

Working closely with your sleep center’s respiratory therapist is crucial since there are several reasons why patients can find it difficult to sustain CPAP treatment consistently.

Here are some alternatives to a CPAP machine for sleep apnea that are available, along with indications of who could benefit most from them.

There are some circumstances where substituting other therapy for CPAP is appropriate. To determine which of these therapies would be effective for you, be careful to discuss your problems with a sleep specialist.

 

Oral devices

An oral appliance resembles the type of mouthguard you could wear when playing sports or if you grind your teeth to avoid damaging your teeth. The tongue and lower jaw are moved when using an oral appliance. Your upper airway tissue won’t hinder your breathing thanks to the realignment, which stops your tongue from sliding back into your throat.

Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea respond best to oral appliances; if your sleep apnea is severe, you’ll need a more proactive approach.

It’s crucial to receive follow-up care to make sure this solution is beneficial to you. Your doctor should request a sleep study after you receive your sleep apnea mouth guard to determine how well it is working to treat your apnea.

 

BiPAP Therapy

BiPAP, also known as bilevel positive airway pressure or bilevel PAP, is a treatment that employs pressurized air to keep your airways open, making it comparable to CPAP. However, BiPAP therapy has two pressure settings as opposed to CPAP’s single constant pressure.

In BiPAP Therapy, the pressure decreases during exhalation and rises during inhalation, which makes it considerably simpler for patients to exhale, especially if they also struggle to breathe normally due to illnesses like lung disease.

If you have trouble exhaling when using a CPAP machine, bi-level positive airway pressure therapy may be more beneficial for you.

 

Surgery

Only when CPAP fails is surgery a viable option. Your particular procedure will depend on what is causing your sleep apnea symptoms. Depending on where your apnea is coming from, one or more of the following options may be offered.

 

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation

The hypoglossal nerve stimulation with Inspire involves implanting a specific device into your chest and connecting it to your hypoglossal nerve. This gadget regulates tongue movement; if you cease breathing while you’re sleeping, a sensor inside the device stimulates your hypoglossal nerve, causing your tongue to move away from your airway.

 

Positional Therapy

When the upper airway collapses while you’re sleeping, it might either completely or partially impede your airflow. The collapsibility of the upper airway increases while you’re on your back while you sleep, which increases the number of apneas (total obstruction) or hypopneas (partial obstruction) every hour of sleep.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine defines positional obstructive sleep apnea as having fewer breathing episodes when you’re not in the supine position (also known as the back position).

 

Medication

Sleep apnea is not typically treated with medication. In actuality, it serves more as a complementary therapy than alternatives to CPAP than an alternative one overall. For individuals with sleep apnea who use CPAP, modafinil, a prescription drug, is frequently used to relieve lingering drowsiness.

Reboxetine, an antidepressant, and butyl bromide, an antispasmodic, were used in a study from Flinders University and were found to help prevent airway collapse during sleep.

Over two nights, researchers monitored 15 otherwise healthy individuals with sleep apnea. The researchers measured heart rate, oxygen saturation, and airflow.

CPAP is the most widely used sleep apnea treatment—but only when used in accordance with instructions. There might be viable alternatives if you need a CPAP substitute to treat your sleep apnea.

If you’re unable to continue your CPAP therapy, speak with our doctor best treatment for sleep apnea treat options or have a sleep expert analyze you. They can help you find the best treatment option for your sleep-disordered breathing.

Although sleep apnea is a serious and sometimes dangerous sleep problem, if you get the right treatment, you won’t have to worry as much about your symptoms. Come in and speak with us about CPAP alternatives for sleep apnea