Is There an Alternative to the CPAP Machine?
There may be an alternative for you in oral appliance therapy. It’s easy, comfortable, and simple, and it’s proven to be effective. If that sounds like it could work for you, then contact us today here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders so we can help you make a fully informed decision as to how to proceed.
Is a CPAP machine really necessary?
What’s truly necessary is to treat sleep apnea appropriately. If it’s left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to chronic conditions like hypertension and heart disease. It’s very common for professionals to recommend a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea, but you might have reservations about using one. You may have learned that the machine is big and bulky, so it can’t be used portably unless you buy an expensive portable unit. The machine can be uncomfortable to use, as it requires you to use a face mask or nose piece during sleep, and the machine is often loud too, so it can wake a sleep partner at night.
All of these issues with CPAP therapy add up to one big issue: it can be very disruptive to a patient’s lifestyle. This isn’t easy to accept for some patients. Because of this, a patient might not be willing to try CPAP therapy, or if the patient has already begun with it, the patient might not be willing to continue.
So what is the alternative to the CPAP machine?
The alternative is oral appliance therapy. It works very well, and it works into a patient’s lifestyle easily.
Using a custom-made, comfortable oral appliance, oral appliance therapy treats sleep apnea effectively. It can work especially well for patients whose sleep apnea is aggravated by TMJ (jaw joint) disorder, but it isn’t limited at all to these patients. Oral appliance therapy is named appropriately because it really is therapeutic for the muscles in the mouth, jaw, and throat. It works by helping these muscles relax, which prevents the airway from collapsing or getting blocked. In doing this, the oral appliance prevents what causes sleep apnea in the first place.
Each oral appliance is custom made for each patient to suit his or her oral anatomy. This makes the device very comfortable to use. It’s especially easy to use too, as the appliance is a simple mouth insert the patient puts in at night and takes out for the day.
Is oral appliance therapy easy to do?
It really is, yes. The appliance fits similarly to how a sports mouth guard fits. The appliance is very easy to put in and take out, and even to clean and maintain. Oral appliance therapy is about as simple as wearing the appliance at night and keeping it clean. There aren’t any masks or machines involved, and you won’t have to replace supplies and filters like you would with CPAP therapy.
Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders recommends oral appliance therapy, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends it too. It could work very well for you just as it has for many other patients.
To learn more about oral appliance therapy and its many benefits, contact us today here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. We have multiple locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, so we ask that you visit our Appointments page for our locations’ addresses. On that page, you’ll also be able to book a consultation with us so we can help you decide whether oral appliance therapy would work for you. Alternatively, you can call us.
We look forward to speaking with you soon here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders!