CPAP Alternatives

You can’t sleep and you want a solution…

Treatment options designed for your specific symptoms

All you want is to sleep! Night after night you lie in bed, eyes squeezed shut – willing yourself to sleep. You can’t fall asleep. You can’t stay asleep. Morning comes too early and your night goes on and on . . .  Your entire personality is changing. Your health is in jeopardy. You want answers and you want them now. More than answers, you want relief . . .

CPAP. A Sleep Apnea Treatment Alternative or a major nuisance?

Continuous Airway Pressure or CPAP. This is the generally the “solution” most health care providers will recommend as the initial answer to sleep apnea. Most sleep centers will prescribe CPAP if you experience sleep apnea. While the patient is sleeping, the specially designed mask is worn, covering the nose and mouth. The mask utilizes a pressure feature which sends air through the nasal passages. This increase of oxygen prevents the throat from collapsing during sleep. Eventually, the “apnea” is eliminated during the night and the patient is able to freely breathe.

Additional benefits have been linked to the CPAP as well. When using the mask, snoring is reduced and even prevented altogether. This allows both you and your bed partner a better night’s sleep. The appliance can also decrease other sleep apnea symptoms such as headaches, nasal dryness and irritated eyes. Because this appliance offers a temporary solution only, sufferers must wear the mask each and every night.

While CPAP is the treatment option that is prescribed most frequently, it is an option equally as unpopular.

After extended use of the appliance, a high percentage of patients suggest they actually hate the device. Here’s why:

CPAP has close to a 100% success rate when it’s used as it’s intended and the proper directions are followed. The issue lies in the fact that CPAP is a difficult appliance to commit to. The device calls for the mask to be worn consistently night after night and that it cover your mouth and nose. In addition, it insists the mask be worn all night long. The majority of people that use the device reportedly wear it for 4 hours (or less) nightly. In that case, the success rate measures in between 23% – 45%.

There are additional problems related to the sleep appliance. Facial breakouts are more prominent due to the irritation on the skin from the straps of the mechanism. The appliance itself contributes to irritated eyes and nose, dryness of the mouth, sore throat and a runny nose. Not pleasant! Also, patients that use CPAP will encounter problems if they tend to sleep on their stomachs, suffer from allergies or constantly breathe through their mouth. After continued use of the appliance, most patients discover this treatment isn’t working for them and they often find relief from oral appliance therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions about CPAP

What is CPAP?
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. As you sleep, a machine is used inthe prevention of snoring and aids in correcting sleep apnea symptoms.

How does it work?
CPAP forces continuous air flow through your nose. A steady stream of oxygen prevents your airway from collapsing when your muscles relax during sleep. This results in a continuous oxygen level throughout the night.

Can CPAP cure sleep apnea?
No. CPAP will not cure sleep apnea. It’s simply a temporary solution that prevents the suffering of sleep apnea symptoms.

Do I need a prescription for CPAP?
Yes. To purchase a unit you do require a prescription.

Are there different types of CPAP machines?
Yes. Three basic types exist;

  1. CPAP – delivers one continuous level of pressure
  2. APAP – starts out at a low pressure, senses when you are encountering a sleep apnea episode and increases the pressure to accommodate
  3. BiPAP – employs an increase in pressure when you inhale and a decrease in pressure when you exhale

Are there alternatives to CPAP?
Yes. Sleep apnea can be modified with a change in certain patient’s diet or lifestyle. Oral appliances – a device used to re-position your jaw and/or tongue – are available. In severe and extreme cases, surgery is required.

Do I have to use CPAP every night?
Yes. To optimize the benefits of CPAP, instructions must be precisely followed. This includes wearing the appliance each and every night. Missing even one night can result in an episode of sleep apnea.

What if I have to travel?
The CPAP machine is able to be relocated. Talk to the airline before flying, to make arrangements or to verify their policy. Plan to make it part of your carry-on luggage as the CPAP machine may be damaged if included in your checked luggage.
If you plan on a camping trip or other travels by car, there are options when it comes to CPAP machines. Certain units can operate with batteries or function when plugged into your car battery.

Will my insurance cover CPAP?
Insurance policies vary from company to company but most will cover CPAP. Because sleep apnea is a critical condition, linked to various health problems, it’s in their best interest to cover this unit as a preventative measure.  

If you have sleep apnea ranging from mild to severe OR if you are a heavy snorer, call or contact us today. We will help you to manage your sleep apnea with a treatment that is right for you.