What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where your airway is blocked by excess tissue, reducing the level of oxygen traveling to your brain. This causes you to stop breathing while sleeping and wake up gasping for air. There are other sleep apnea symptoms, but the most common is the interrupted sleep due to the blocked airways.
The only way to determine if you suffer from sleep apnea is to take an overnight sleep study or an at-home sleep test. Once you’ve been diagnosed, Dr. Schuyler Van Gorden and Dr. Rebecca Steinbach will help you find a sleep apnea treatment that works best based on your needs and preferences.
Alternative treatments for sleep apnea have come a long way. Elevate Dental Wellness proudly offers sleep apnea treatment without CPAP, including a custom-made oral appliance to help you get the restorative, healthy sleep you need.
What Is a CPAP Machine?
Doctors typically prescribe a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine for sleep apnea treatment. It uses a mask that’s worn around your mouth and nose, connected to the machine to pump air into your airway. This clears any obstructions in your throat that’s interrupting your breathing while you sleep.
CPAP therapy is an effective treatment for sleep apnea that works for many patients, but many patients report feeling unhappy with it. Patients often fail to wear their CPAP machine for the recommended time each night, or even stop using it altogether because it’s loud, uncomfortable, and intrusive.
Fortunately, there are plenty of non-CPAP options for sleep apnea. The key is finding the one that is best for you.
CPAP Alternatives for Sleep Apnea Treatment
Quiet & Comfortable Oral Appliances
One effective CPAP alternative for sleep apnea treatment is an oral appliance. This non-invasive device fits comfortably and securely in your mouth. It works to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms by gently shifting your lower jaw forward to clear the obstruction that’s preventing you from breathing properly.
An oral appliance is an alternative to using a CPAP machine that’s worn at night and is similar to a sports mouthguard. They’re easy to use, quiet, and convenient—best of all, each oral appliance is custom-made just for you.
Sleep Apnea Natural Treatments
As a holistically focused practice, we want to educate our patients about sleep apnea treatment and the importance of complete wellness. That’s why Dr. Van Gorden and Dr. Steinbach recommend CPAP alternatives including various natural approaches to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms and achieve a better night’s sleep.
In addition to using an oral appliance, some alternative treatments for sleep apnea include aromatherapy, listening to calming music, and practicing relaxation techniques before bed. There are also several natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help reduce snoring and sleep apnea symptoms, including:
- Reducing or eliminating smoking can affect the severity of your condition
- Limiting alcohol consumption will help lessen sleep apnea symptoms
- Adopting a healthy diet can help you lose weight, reducing excess tissue
- Positional therapy to adjust your sleeping position can alleviate snoring
- Throat and mouth exercises strengthen your muscles to reduce symptoms
Treating Sleep Apnea With Surgery
In some cases, surgery is recommended to reduce or eliminate sleep apnea symptoms as an alternative to CPAP. Surgeries may include removing expanding tonsils or excess tissue and widening the airways in your nose or throat.
Although these are highly effective, they’re also very invasive for certain patients. Before surgery is considered, we explore all possible sleep apnea natural treatments and CPAP alternatives such as an oral appliance.
NightLase® for Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment
With the help of Fotona’s NightLase, our Basalt dental office can alleviate sleep apnea symptoms, improve your quality of sleep, and help you get a better night’s rest.
NightLase is a non-invasive, patient-friendly laser treatment used as a sleep apnea therapy alternative. It’s used to reduce or eliminate the effects of sleep apnea and snoring. The laser works by generating a tightening effect caused by the contraction of collagen in the oral mucosa tissue.
Research has shown high success rates in producing positive changes in sleep patterns. NightLase is highly favored by many patients as an effective CPAP alternative for sleep apnea treatment.