The Difficulty of CPAP Machines
Most patients are given a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to treat their sleep apnea symptoms. The device works by pumping oxygen through a facemask to keep the airway from being blocked throughout the night. While the machine is effective, it can also be inconvenient to use. In fact, four in five patients don’t use their CPAP for the time that’s recommended, and almost half stop using it altogether.
The Drawbacks of CPAP
Patients have many issues with CPAP that causes them to not use the machine, including:
- Being constantly noisy
- Inconvenient to travel with
- Uncomfortable to use while sleeping
- Waking up with a dry or stuffy nose
- Skin irritation or pressure sores
- Feeling claustrophobic
CPAP devices must also be cleaned constantly to prevent bacteria from building up. If neglected, this can lead to an increase in complications.
Oral Appliances Are Here to Stay
The good news is that Dr. Winkelmann offers alternatives to CPAP with oral appliances. These custom devices resemble a mouthguard and work by gently shifting your jaw forward to prevent your airway from collapsing.
Unlike CPAP, oral appliances are totally non-intrusive and completely silent, so you and your partner can enjoy a peaceful night together. After years of experience, Dr. Winkelmann has found that the Herbs® and TAP 3® appliances are highly effective in treating sleep apnea and are recommended to ensure the best results.
Dr. Winkelmann will only recommend the use of a CPAP machine if you suffer from severe symptoms of sleep apnea. Combining CPAP with an oral appliance allows patients to lower the setting of their machine and make it easier to tolerate with a smaller mask.
Additional Sleep Apnea Solutions
Certain lifestyle changes along with the use of an oral appliance can help reduce your sleep apnea symptoms while getting the most of your treatment. These modifications include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Participating in regular exercise
- Positional therapy with special pillows
- Reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Doing throat and mouth exercises
If treatment has proven to be unsuccessful, surgery may be recommended to solve your sleep apnea permanently. This will only be used as a last resort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sleep apnea life-threatening?
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences, such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
That’s why it’s crucial to seek treatment immediately after receiving a diagnosis. Contact our Wake Forest office at (984) 237-1013 to learn more about our treatment options. We’ll also answer any questions and concerns you may have about sleep apnea.
Is there a cure for sleep apnea?
The only cure for sleep apnea is to have surgery. Dr. Winkelmann will only recommend the procedure in the most severe cases and as a last resort. We’ll first suggest an oral appliance to begin reversing the effects of sleep apnea. In addition, our office may also recommend that you make certain lifestyle changes to ensure that treatment is effective.
What is the connection between sleep apnea and obesity?
About 70 percent of patients with obstructive sleep apnea also suffer from obesity. For adults especially, there is a strong connection between the two conditions. For every increase in BMI, there’s a 14 percent increased risk of developing sleep apnea. If you are currently suffering from symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Winkelmann by calling (984) 237-1013.
What are some natural solutions to sleep apnea?
There are several lifestyle modifications you can make in conjunction to treatment to improve your sleep apnea symptoms. These natural remedies include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Developing an exercise routine
- Avoiding alcohol, smoking, and sedatives
- Positional therapy
- Having a humidifier
We understand that no two patients are the same. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, we’ll create a custom treatment plan that includes an oral appliance and lifestyle changes.
Reclaim Your Sleep With Oral Appliances
If CPAP machines are too inconvenient, Dr. Winkelmann can provide you with a custom oral appliance to give you the peaceful night you and your partner deserve. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with our Wake Forest office by calling us at (984) 237-1013 or by filling out an online contact form.