Do you have a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea? Are you religious about wearing it, or is it shoved in your nightstand drawer collecting dust? If you're living with sleep apnea and not using your CPAP machine, first we need to tell you that you're not alone. Many people living with sleep apnea hate their CPAP machines because they can be noisy, cumbersome and claustrophobic. Second, we want to say that the CPAP is not your only option for treatment. Legends Dental offers alternatives for sleep apnea without the use of CPAP machines in many cases.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep breathing disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. Obstructions also cause these interruptions to the airway, such as the tongue falling back into the throat or the muscles of the throat collapsing when you're relaxed during sleep. Sleep apnea researchers believe that about 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, but 80 percent of those living with the condition are undiagnosed — or untreated because they don't like their CPAP.
But we understand the feelings of those who don't want to wear it. A bulky, claustrophobic mask that makes loud noises and blows air in your face all night long doesn't seem super comfortable to use.
What Is a CPAP?
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. This device is a machine that is designed to keep the airway open by blowing a steady stream of air into the airway to keep it expanded and to stop breathing interruptions.
Sounds beneficial, right? The CPAP machine can be helpful, but when 30 to 50 percent of patients stop using their CPAPs or don't fill the prescription to get the device, there's got to be a reason.
As we said, we recognize that they're bulky and uncomfortable. But, you have to treat your sleep apnea with something because untreated sleep apnea is severe and could result in serious health consequences such as high blood pressure. An increased risk of diabetes, increased chance of developing heart disease and a higher risk of stroke also develop.
People living with untreated sleep apnea also have a higher risk of mood changes, treatment-resistant depression, dementia and the decline of libido.
Children who are living with untreated sleep apnea often have difficulty concentrating and behavior disorders.
So, What's the Alternative?
You can't let your sleep apnea go untreated, and you don't want to wear your CPAP machine, so what should you do? The first thing is to call Legends Dental. We offer an alternative to the CPAP machine through an oral appliance. This appliance is comfortable and custom fit. It is known as a Mandibular Repositioning Device (MRD). It works by moving your lower jaw into a more forward position to keep the airway from collapsing or becoming blocked by the tongue.
Do you want to learn more about our alternative to the CPAP machine? Call Legends Dental today at 254-799-9540 to schedule a consultation.