CPAP is the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea. However, it’s not right for everyone.
CPAP can be noisy, bulky, and uncomfortable – some people can’t get used to it at all. It can also be expensive, and difficult to travel with. Some patients find that they can’t tolerate the pressure generated by the CPAP machine and develop sore throats or sinus pain from air blowing into their faces through a mask.
A CPAP machine may not be right for you if:
- You are claustrophobic (have difficulty with enclosed spaces)
- You have had a bad reaction to nasal masks or nasal pillows in the past
- You are bothered by dry eyes and/or nose while using your CPAP machine
Common problems with CPAP machines.
While you may be able to get away with using a CPAP machine at home in your bedroom and while sleeping at night, it’s not easy to take a CPAP machine on vacation or when traveling. Many patients complain that the mask irritates their skin or leaks air through the seal, which can dry out your mouth and nose and make you restless. If that happens, most doctors generally recommend changing masks. It may help to try different types of masks (such as a nasal pillow), which are usually included with your machine when you buy it.
Additionally, some people are simply uncomfortable with the idea of wearing something inside their mouth at night—they believe it’s unpleasant or unnecessary—and others are concerned about side effects like jaw pain caused by wearing an oral appliance every night.
Alternative to the CPAP machine.
If your symptoms don’t improve with CPAP therapy, there are other options available that may help you get a better night’s sleep without the noise, bulk, or cost of a CPAP machine.
An oral appliance is a good alternative to a CPAP machine. An oral appliance fits over your teeth like an orthodontic retainer while you sleep and supports your jaw in a forward position to keep your airway open. Oral appliances can be used for patients who have mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea or snoring problems. Studies show that these devices are effective at reducing symptoms related to both of these conditions. Oral appliances are custom-made for each person, so it’s important to visit a dentist before purchasing one.
Dr. Winsome Henry-Ward can help you find out if an oral appliance is right for you!
If you’re having trouble with your CPAP machine, don’t give up. Dr. Winsome Henry-Ward can help you find out if an oral appliance is right for you! We will custom-fit one to suit your mouth to make sure you get a restful night’s sleep. If you think an oral appliance could work for you, call us today to schedule a consultation and we’ll get started on fitting one at once.