CPAP, also known as continuous positive airway pressure, has long been the “gold standard” therapy for snoring and sleep apnea. Often the first treatment option prescribed due to its effectiveness and non-invasive nature, the device works by delivering a steady stream of pressurized air through a mask worn at night to keep the airway open during sleep.
But while CPAP has proven to be remarkably effective at treating sleep apnea, many patients can’t tolerate the mask or simply don’t use it. CPAP compliance rates are strikingly low – with the percentage of individuals who actually use the device falling around 45%.
Why Are CPAP Compliance Rates So Low?
With a quick search for “CPAP” on the internet, it is not hard to find websites and forums centered around a disdain for this device.
Common complaints about CPAP are numerous and include:
- The large and uncomfortable nature of the mask
- The feelings of claustrophobia and suffocation caused when wearing the mask
- The distracting noises produced by the device, which can bother both snorers and their non-snoring bed partners throughout the night
- Facial irritation caused by the mask
- Nasal irritation caused by the mask
- Negative side effects caused by the device like a runny nose, dry mouth and sore throat
If you are an unhappy CPAP user, one or more of these complaints may strike a chord with your own experience. Fortunately, CPAP is not the only option to successfully treat sleep apnea.
A Better Alternative to CPAP
There’s good news for patients suffering from snoring or sleep apnea who have tried CPAP without success. Many individuals have minimized or even eliminated symptoms by using a CPAP alternative called oral appliance therapy. Like CPAP, oral appliances are non-invasive and require no surgery. Unlike CPAP, they are small, easy-to-use and do not make noise to operate. As an added bonus, they’re also easy to travel with and discreet. In fact, most people won’t be able to tell when you’re wearing one.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
An oral appliance is a small, custom-made device that is placed in the mouth at night. It looks similar in appearance to a protective mouth guard worn during sports and it is used just like an orthodontic device on a nightly basis. The device prevents the tongue and other soft tissues in the mouth from collapsing during sleep, causing airway obstruction and the resulting snoring sounds.
There are different types of oral appliances, tongue-retaining devices and mandibular advancement devices, and an examination with an eos dental sleep snoring and sleep apnea specialist will determine which variation will work best for your unique condition.
Treat Snoring & Sleep Apnea Without the CPAP Mask in Pennsylvania
If you are suffering from chronic snoring or sleep apnea and looking for a CPAP alternative, schedule an oral appliance therapy consultation at eos dental sleep today. Our dental sleep medicine physician in Center City, Philadelphia looks forward to helping you get the peaceful and restorative night’s sleep that you deserve.