Around 50-70 million adults in the US have a sleep disorder, with around 22 million estimated to have moderate to severe sleep apnea. Worldwide, the condition affects over 100 million people.
Sleep apnea appears to be on the rise and can seriously disrupt the quality of your life and restful sleep, as well as reduce life expectancy.
A common remedy for a diagnosis of sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, but there are other alternatives if CPAP doesn’t work for you.
The Drawbacks of a CPAP Machine
CPAP machines don’t suit everyone. Using CPAP requires you to wear a mask, which means you must lay on your back. The restricted sleeping position is a dealbreaker for some people, such as side sleepers, as they’re just too uncomfortable.
Others are uncomfortable with the air delivery mechanism. CPAP delivers a cycle of air into the mouth. The delivery is highly pressurized and is a slightly strange sensation which, for some people, disturbs their rest rather than enhances it.
Power outages can be a worry depending on where you live. CPAP requires a continuous power supply, but there are ways to provide a backup.
For example, portable solar panels CA and a portable power station can allow your CPAP to run uninterrupted during bad weather events or other interruptions to supply.
The Alternatives to a CPAP Machine for Sleep Apnea
If you’ve received a diagnosis of sleep apnea, then there are alternatives to CPAP that are less intrusive.
Indeed, CPAP machines are losing popularity with patients while oral appliances are on the up.
Oral appliances are worn in the mouth during sleep, like a mouthguard or orthodontic appliance. These work by holding the lower jaw forward to keep the airways open.
The tongue and muscles in the mouth and jaw are relaxed and prevented from blocking the trachea. Your dentist or orthodontist can make an oral appliance customized to your mouth and jaw.
Oral surgery is another option to relieve symptoms and is an alternative to using a CPAP machine.
Different surgeries are available depending on the severity of sleep apnea and the patient’s mouth and throat structure. However, the costs of surgery and the procedure’s invasiveness can make this option prohibitive for some.
Upper Airway Hyperglossal Stimulation
This new treatment for obstructive sleep apnea uses a small device, somewhat like a pacemaker, placed below the collarbone. It stimulates the nerves in the tongue and also the throat muscles.
The device keeps the airways open and stimulates breathing. This device usually comes with a small remote control, so you can use it when you need to and tailor it to your sleep behavior pattern.
Even some severe sleep apnea conditions can improve with simple lifestyle changes. A good percentage of people who suffer from sleep apnea are overweight, so it could just be as simple as losing weight to get a good night’s sleep. More exercise and reducing alcohol and/or quitting smoking will also help.
CPAP machines aren’t for everyone. Look into the alternatives listed here and speak with your doctor to find the best treatment option for you.