Why alternatives to CPAP machines is so important for most people?
If you’re one of the estimated 22 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, you know how important it is to find an effective treatment. Traditional treatments like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines can be difficult to use. Here are some alternative treatments that may work better for you.
What is CPAP Machine?
The CPAP machine, otherwise known as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, is a device primarily used to treat sleep apnea. It attaches to the face and provides a steady stream of air through the nose, keeping the airway open and preventing episodes of apnea.
It is a device that helps to keep your airway open while you sleep, which prevents pauses in your breathing that can lead to snoring and other health problems. If you find that CPAP machines are not suitable treatment options for you, there are other alternatives to this sleep apnea treatment method.
You can also learn the difference between CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP.
Why Use an Alternatives to CPAP Machines?
Alternatives are available for those who are sensitive, allergic, or intolerant to the materials present in many CPAP masks. here are some reasons you need to use alternatives to CPAP machines:
- No more claustrophobia: For some people, using a traditional mask can be overwhelming because of its tightness on their face, or because of how it covers their eyes. They can frequently get interrupted by having to adjust their mask during sleep.
- No more strap marks: Waking up with red lines around your face is so common when using a traditional CPAP machine it has earned the nickname ‘CPAP face’. Some even have difficulty wearing makeup because of the marks getting into the creases of the face and causing breakouts.
- No more tangled tubing: Standard CPAP tubing is full of coils and can often become tangled. This causes the tubing to be twisted and kinked throughout sleep, which makes it harder for airflow.
- No more ugly machine: The size and design of most traditional CPAP machines make them difficult to hide under your bed or keep in a closet, not to mention they can also look quite clinical.
- No more noise: Most standard CPAP machines are very loud; those who live with others or those who share rooms with children frequently complain about being woken up by a loud buzzing/humming noise.
- No more night sweats: CPAP machines are boiling machines. Many users complain of experiencing increased sweat throughout the night, which can lead to dehydration and dry nasal passages.
- No more machine washing: With traditional CPAP machines, take apart all parts every single day in order to wash them. This takes a huge amount of time and effort that most people just don’t have!
What Can I Use Instead of a CPAP Machine?
In this section, we will list and describe 6 alternatives to a CPAP machine. Please keep in mind that you should always consult with your physician before trying any treatment, as some of these alternatives may not be suitable for everyone. In addition, if none of these works or they have unwanted side effects, then CPAP therapy is still the recommended choice.
1. Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
This is a removable oral appliance that is custom-made to fit into your mouth. It works by repositioning the lower jaw slightly forward to open up the airway, making it wider for unobstructed breathing when you sleep. OAT can be useful in people who have mild sleep apnea or OSAHS.
Pros: Good alternative for mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS). It does not require any surgery or anesthesia, so it is safer compared to other treatment options. The appliance is easily removable if necessary and adjustments are relatively easy to make. They have shown a satisfactory level of efficacy in treating OHS with an oral appliance.
Cons: It is only effective for mild cases of sleep apnea and there are restrictions on what type of patients can use it (i.e.: children cannot use an oral appliance).
2. Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)
These are similar to OAT in that they also reposition the jaw. The difference is that MADs hold the jaw in a forward position while you sleep by either wearing an oral appliance or with a strap attached to your teeth at night. While you use it, the muscles around the airway will stretch and tone themselves, which makes it easier for airflow to occur during sleep.
Pros: MAD therapy works well for mild cases of sleep apnea. They are also safer compared to other alternatives as there are no major risks involved (i.e.: surgery). Consistent usage could help avoid future complications that may arise because of high blood pressure or heart disease, making this treatment option less harmful.
Cons: It’s hard to adjust at first and there are some restrictions on who can use it. The teeth may get damaged after long-term use of MADs. It is also expensive compared to other treatment options.
3. Palatal Implants or Positioning Devices (PAP)
These are devices that hold the palate in a forward position, similar to an oral appliance mentioned above, except that they get implanted into your upper jaw when you sleep.
There are no wires attached and it will only require minimal adjustments when using one of these implants by holding them in place with soft plastic attachments. While this alternative does not require any dental work, the doctor will have to make a cut in your mouth so that they can place an implant.
Pros: It is a simple and minimally invasive way of keeping the airway open while you sleep for patients who have mild cases of OSAHS. It can also help avoid future complications from high blood pressure or heart disease since it is being used as early as possible before those conditions arise. Consistent usage could also decrease snoring and daytime sleepiness if that is a problem.
Cons: There are some risks involved, such as infections at the site where the implant got inserted, although this risk is low (only 1-2%). Other complications associated with implanting these devices include bone loss around the implant and damage to the jawbone.
This is an option for patients with mild-to-moderate cases of OSAHS. If you feel that your sleep apnea has progressed to a point where other treatments such as MADs or oral appliances are ineffective, surgery could be an alternative and less invasive way of keeping the airway open while you sleep.
If you opt for this treatment, the doctor will make a minor cut on your upper lip so that they can remove some of the excess tissues in your throat that may cause blockage. Patients who have undergone this procedure experienced relief from their OSAHS symptoms.
Pros: It can be a quick way of dealing with sleep apnea if the condition has progressed little yet. Aside from repairing tissues in your throat, surgery can also treat other structural problems that could cause your OSAHS such as tonsils, adenoids or even the uvula (the tissue that hangs in the back of your throat).
Cons: This option is usually for patients with mild-to-moderate cases only since it only treats the symptoms and does not address why you have sleep apnea.
5. Weight Loss
Obesity raises your risk for sleep apnea, and the more weight you gain, the higher your chances of developing this condition. If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can go a long way in improving your sleep apnea symptoms and even reduce the need for medical treatment down the road.
This is because obesity can lead to structural changes in your throat that cause it to collapse while you sleep, leading to abrupt pauses in breathing that disrupt regular breathing patterns during slumber.
Pros: If achieved, weight loss can improve OSAHS symptoms such as poor sleep quality and morning headaches, which usually lessen over time with continued progress from following a healthy diet plan and exercising.
Cons: While they show weight loss to provide some relief from OSAHS symptoms, it may not be enough for those whose cases get advanced and require more intensive treatment or surgery.
6. Wellue iBreeze APAP Machine + O2Ring Oxygen Monitor
iBreeze APAP Machine (auto CPAP machine) changes air pressure to a patient on a breath by breath basis, far advanced than traditional CPAP machines that only give one fixed level of pressure. iBreeze APAP is also a good choice for patients who feel difficult to adjust to CPAP machines.
During therapy, if the user begins to have hypopnea or apnea, the device can auto-adjust to deliver a continuous stream of air to the user at an optimum pressure level. APAP is mainly used to treat OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) in a very comfortable way. It helps the user keep the airway open with minimum pressure levels and prevent obstruction of the airway with enough air pressure during sleep.
This Auto-CPAP machine also has CPAP mode so the user can discover which therapy model fits better for him/her.
O2Ring is a little more expensive than the mouthpiece but worth the price. It is a device that helps in treating sleep apnea. You can use this device to detect abnormal heart rate or low oxygen levels during sleep.
Using the Wellue O2ring will give you want to have more control over your sleep apnea treatment plan!
You can learn the ultimate O2ring usage guide if you are interested.
If you’re looking for CPAP alternatives, solutions for sleep apnea, or more information, always keep visiting this website! There are many things they offer that can help you treat sleep apnea.