How to sleep with sleep apnea without a CPAP
Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition that disrupts the airways during sleep, resulting in abnormal breathing and lower oxygen levels in the body. Although the most well-known treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy – it is not unusual for patients to struggle with these devices, leading many to explore alternative treatments and therapies. If you’re newly diagnosed with sleep apnea or tired of fighting the CPAP mask at night, you may be wondering if you’ll ever be able to sleep without a CPAP again.
What is a CPAP machine?
If you’ve heard of sleep apnea, you’ve likely come across the term ‘CPAP.’ Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a well-known treatment for obstructive sleep apnea patients and was introduced in the 1980s as an alternative to surgery. Although new therapies have developed over time to offer different approaches and management of sleep apnea, CPAP machines sparked new interest in sleep science at the time, paving the way for treatment options available in modern medicine today.
Discover our treatment options at Sleep Cycle Centers
How does a CPAP machine work?
CPAP machines can effectively treat sleep apnea patients, improving symptoms and reducing the risk of other health problems caused by the condition. The machine delivers air via a mask or tube into the airway, removing obstructions caused by the tongue, uvula, and soft palate. However, for some patients, life with a CPAP machine can sometimes be unmanageable and uncomfortable. It is always important to consider alternative treatment options if you struggle to adjust to this form of sleep apnea therapy.
Why do patients dislike CPAP machines?
Introducing CPAP treatment to your bedroom routine can bring major lifestyle adjustments, which some patients struggle to manage. Common complaints with CPAP treatments usually surround adverse reactions caused by the mask, irritation to the skin and nasal passages, acne breakouts, dry mouth, and in the worst cases, infections. Those who experience claustrophobia may also find sleeping with a mask restrictive, and light sleepers often raise concerns about the noise levels emitted during the night.
Hate your CPAP machine? Learn more about the alternative treatment options at Sleep Cycle Centers.
Is it possible to sleep without a CPAP?
If CPAP therapy is not for you, there are other treatment options if a patient decides to move away from CPAP. Sleeping without a mask is possible! Options for alternative treatments can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Approaches such as lifestyle changes, oral devices, and physiotherapy can often improve symptoms or complement a wider care plan.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Our Sleep Cycle Center team specializes in oral devices for apnea treatment, which help keep the airways open by holding the tongue in place and easing a patient’s jaw forward during sleep. Many of our patients prefer the simplicity of a holistic mouth guard over invasive CPAP devices, offering a comfortable and wireless option for relieving symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Best of all, our patients can finally sleep without a CPAP!
There are many surgical options to treat sleep apnea symptoms. The most successful and common procedure is ‘Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty,’ which involves trimming down the soft palate and uvula, removing the tonsils, and repositioning the muscles.
Other surgeries include:
- Radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction – radiofrequency waves shrink or remove tissues in the back of the throat to open up the airways.
- Maxillomandibular advancement – repositioning the jaw to create more space behind the tongue.
- Anterior inferior mandibular osteotomy – divides your chin bone into two parts, allowing your tongue to move forward.
- Genioglossus advancement – prevents the tongue from rolling back by tightening the tendons in front of it.
- Midline glossectomy – largens airways by removing a portion of the back of the tongue.
- Lingual tonsillectomy – removing both tonsils and surrounding tissues to open up the lower part of the throat.
- Septoplasty and turbinate reduction – straightening the nasal septum to make it easier to breathe.
- Hypoglossal nerve stimulator – attaching an electrode to the main nerve that controls the tongue; this device then stimulates the tongue muscles to prevent them from blocking the airway.
- Hyoid suspension – moving the hyoid bone and affected muscles in the neck to open the airway.
Reviewing sleeping positions and posture can help relieve narrow airways during sleep. Positional therapies, such as ‘Side Sleeping’ or adjusting pillows to a 60-degree head-raised angle, can all help to improve milder apnea cases. Those struggling to maintain a correct sleep position without aid can also invest in devices fitted across the waist or back to help encourage ideal sleep posture.
Weight management therapy is a common treatment used in medicine today, and aims to equip patients with the tools they need to lose weight, maintain a healthy size and eat the correct foods to promote overall health. However, this type of therapy alone cannot cure apnea and is often used alongside a wider treatment plan.
Our professional interest in alternative sleep apnea therapies
The Sleep Cycle Center team has a professional interest in alternative sleep apnea therapies, dedicated to improving quality of life and empowering patients to understand their condition and treatment options. Dr. Chad Denman is a pioneer in the field of Sleep Apnea Dentistry. He has spent his career finding the most effective methods for treating sleep apnea, including our oral appliance treatment plan, which offers a more comfortable and portable management of sleep apnea symptoms.
Contact our team today to discuss sleep apnea treatment options!
Weighing your sleep apnea treatment options can be challenging and often overwhelming for many patients. Fortunately, our team is committed to finding the right treatment plan for you to manage your sleep apnea symptoms and achieve better, recuperative, and more restful sleep. Remember, there are other options for you, and you can sleep without a CPAP! Contact us today to get started.
Contact Us Today to schedule your appointment:
Phone: (512) 645-0818
Fax: (512) 645-0646
10900 Research Blvd STE. 140-C
Austin, TX 78759
317 Ranch Road 620 S #101
Lakeway, TX 78734