If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea obstructive and your physician may suggest the use of a continuous positive pressure (CPAP) machine for treatment. A CPAP machine provides you with the ability to pressurize your air during sleep to ensure that your airway remains open. Patients who utilize a CPAP machine regularly experience improved health and less cognitive impairment. There is drop in blood pressure is seen while having CPAP therapy.
Your doctor will help decide which treatments will work best for your needs.
Why Use an Alternative to a CPAP Machine?
Patients with OSA look for CPAP alternatives due to sleep apnea.
Machine’s price out of pocket cost is usually around $250 but can go up to 1,000 or even more. If you choose to use insurance to buy a CPAP machine, then you usually must sign up for a rent-to-own plan that has strict conformity requirements.
Compliance requirements Insurance companies like Medicare require CPAP users to follow the 30 day compliance period and use the machine at least four hours per night, on 70% of nights. Patients may have difficulty meeting the requirements and may feel that it’s a violation of their privacy.
Side effects can vary between CPAP users. Some may find the mask to be uncomfortable or suffer from dry mouth, itchy or red eyes, as well as an irritable, dry, or runny nose. CPAP users as well as their sleep partners could be affected by the noise created by leaks in the mask. All of these effects can impact the adhesion.
Adherence Rates of adherence for CPAP machines could vary, but they could be in the 50 percent.
Sleep Apnea Treatment without CPAP
Many alternatives to lifestyle, devices, and procedures can be used as alternatives to sleep apnea treatment for those who prefer to not make use of the CPAP machine.
It doesn’t matter if you have been diagnosed with OSA, or if you suspect that you might be suffering from it, it’s helpful to know about sleep apnea treatment without CPAP.
1. Positional Therapy
If you are experiencing mild or moderate sleep apnoea, then your doctor might recommend you to change your lifestyle. The sleep apnea condition is strongly linked to obesity. Extra tissue at the back and neck can block the airways.
You can reduce excess tissue by losing weight. However, this may take some time. People can also sleep better and longer by exercising.
OSA symptoms can be reduced by quitting smoking and decreasing alcohol intake. You can make some changes to your nighttime routine.
For mild OSA sufferers, simple measures like making sure your bedroom is dark and going to bed only when you are tired can encourage sleep.
2. Positional Therapy
Another lifestyle change your doctor might recommend is this. OSA can be made worse by sleeping on the back, although sleep studies don’t usually monitor where someone sleeps.
Gravitation pulls down the tissues in the airways, increasing the likelihood of them becoming blocked. If there are any concerns that your sleep apnoea might be position-dependent, you can have more detailed sleep tests.
In positional therapy, you wear a device around your waist that is designed in such a manner you will sleep on your side. The OSA symptoms should be removed by a normal breathing pattern when the body is in the side position.
In most cases, however, sleeping on one side can reduce the OSA symptoms. This is a good way to reduce the OSA symptoms, but it won’t eliminate them completely. Positional therapy is not the only treatment option, but it can be used in conjunction with other methods.
3. Oral Devices
Mandibular Advancement Device is one such device. People having mild or moderate symptoms of OSA are recommended this CPAP alternative.
It is worn at night. The device works by pressing the lower jaw down to open up the airways while you sleep. These devices are preferred by some people to CPAP masks.
Some people with OSA may also benefit from a tongue-retaining mouthpiece. This device rests on the tip and is attached to the lips. It adjusts the position of your tongue to the upper jaw.
No matter what type of oral device you choose it will be portable and easy to transport. They are also great for traveling, even if you’re using CPAP therapy at your home.
4. A musical option
Although this may sound like an alternative treatment, there is evidence to support the use of woodwind musical instruments as a way to reduce OSA symptoms.
OSA can be caused by loose tissue or weak muscles around the airways. A wind instrument helps to strengthen these tissues and muscles, preventing their collapse, and allowing the airways to remain open.
While your neighbors and partner may prefer that you choose a more gentle-sounding instrument for practice, the Didgeridoo is a good choice due to the effort required to play it.
Recent studies have also shown that OSA risk may be reduced by playing double-reed instruments like an oboe, bassoon, or oboe.
5. A surgical option
Surgery is an option if the other options for treating your OSA (including CPAP therapy) have failed to work. Surgery has a success rate between 50% and 60%. You may experience some pain during healing, but you can still take pain relief medications.
One of the most recommended surgical procedures for the soft palate is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) in which excess tissue is removed for increasing the width that helps in the movement of the soft palate.
In a painful surgery, tissues such as the soft palate, tonsils, and adenoids may need to be removed. Patients will be informed that complications may occur with UPPP. These include damage to blood vessels surrounding the surgery, swelling, bleeding, difficulty swallowing, and pain after surgery.
Surgery is considered a last resort for OSA. It is also because of the high success rate. The NHS does not often recommend surgery.
Acupuncture is another treatment option that the NHS has not yet recognized. Despite positive results from manual acupuncture in China, it is not yet recognized by the NHS as a viable alternative to CPAP therapy. If someone feels that it might be for them, they would need to pay privately.
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Selecting CPAP Alternatives
Discuss with your doctor regarding what sleep apnea cures without a CPAP are suitable for your OSA. Note your sleep patterns and symptoms to give your doctor an accurate picture of the way OSA impacts your daily life. Together, you’ll be able to develop an action plan to lessen the incidence of sleep apnea.