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Sleep Apnea
Treatment Option
Dr. Amit Kumar, DDS

Sleep apnea can be treated in different ways, including:

  • Lifestyle changes such as:
    • Weight loss
    • Avoidance of supine position,
    • Avoidance of alcohol,
    • Avoidance of sedative sleep aids
  • Risky, painful surgery such as:
    • Tracheostomy
    • Tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy
    • Nasal surgery
    • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
    • Somnoplasty
    • Maxillofacial surgery
  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
  • Oral appliance therapy

CPAP

Sleep medicine still considers CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, to be the gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea, however low compliance rates (23-45% based on several studies) have always been a problem. CPAP is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open.

CPAP treatment involves a CPAP machine, which has three main parts:

  • A mask or other device that fits over your nose or your nose and mouth. Straps keep the mask in place while wearing it
  • A tube that connects the mask to the machine’s motor
  • A motor that blows air into the tube

Some of the common issues that lead to lack of compliance with CPAP include:

  • Discomfort due to too-high air pressure
  • Noise from the air compressor inhibits sleep
  • Claustrophobia
  • Irritation to eyes should air leak from the mask
  • Headaches
  • Changes to voice
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Skin irritation
  • Sinus infections
  • Difficulty breathing against forced air
  • Discomfort from air in the stomach
  • Psychological impact due to look or feel of being hooked up to machine and wearing a mask

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) vs. CPAP

  • The appliance is customized, comfortable and convenient
  • Non-invasive, metal-free, latex-free
  • No hoses, straps or headgear
  • Low maintenance and portable
  • Easy to travel with
  • You can talk, drink fluids and move about the room
  • It’s more attractive because it fits entirely inside your mouth
  • You can sleep in any position.
  • Bed partner accepted, discreet an quiet
  • Can be used with other therapies for increased benefits.
  • FDA approved
  • Compliance is high because you are more likely to use it because it is more comfortable.

Sleep apnea treatment is affordable!