Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatments to CPAP

Continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP) devices are effective in treating sleep apnea in both children and adults. If the patients actually wear the masks.

CPAP entails the use of a small machine that circulates a continuous stream of air through a tube connected to a mask you wear while you sleep. The airflow prevents the tissues in your throat from collapsing and allows uninterrupted breathing.

Unfortunately, studies have revealed that patients’ long-term compliance with CPAP treatment is low. Most research regarding CPAP use indicates that about one-quarter to one-third of sleep apnea patients who try CPAP stop using the device.

Because the dangers of sleep apnea are potentially fatal and include increased risk for heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure, it’s important for those who are unable to adjust to the CPAP device to seek alternative treatment.

Oral appliances, which are similar to mouthguards, are often successful in treating sleep apnea patients who find they can’t wear the CPAP mask. There are a number of sleep apnea oral appliances available, and finding the right treatment option for your individual condition can be determined during a consultation with a dentist experienced in sleep apnea treatment.

To learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact a dentist who specializes in sleep disorders near you.

posted by Steve at 7:56 AM