Alternatives to CPAP: 6 Ways to Treat Sleep Apnea Without CPAP

May 30, 2023
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Imagine sleeping with a device that sends constant pressurized air to keep your airways open as you sleep – that is what a CPAP does for obstructive sleep apnea patients. However, there are options for sleep apnea treatment without CPAP. So, to stay informed on what the CPAP alternatives are, continue reading!

What is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP?

Continuous positive airway pressure, the full form of CPAP, is a machine that keeps the airway open while you sleep. This provides a method to avoid the discomfort that comes with sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea. In addition, CPAP is also helpful in treating preterm infants who were born with underdeveloped lungs.

Opting for Sleep Apnea Treatment Without CPAP

Although CPAP is prescribed first when OSA becomes worse, there are other available treatments. Lifestyle changes, fitted mouthpieces, and other alternatives to CPAP might work for mild sleep apnea. These procedures, however, may not be effective for severe or even moderate sleep apnea.

Below, you will find a list of alternatives to CPAP:

  1. Alternative PAP Therapies
    Some might find CPAP effective yet uncomfortable. In such cases, it might be possible to switch to other PAP therapies, including:

    • BiPAP: Short for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure, BiPAP machines have different settings for both inhalations as well as exhalation.
    • APAP: Abbreviated form of Auto-Adjusting Positive Airway Pressure Machine; this machine responds to the changes that occur in the breathing patterns of the person using it. It is also called auto-CPAP.
    • EPAP: the newer alternative to CPAP, Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure therapy, does not use a machine to deliver pressurized air. Instead, it uses a nasal EPAP device with valves, creating air pressure as the patient exhales, which prevents the upper airway from collapsing.
  2. Losing Weight & Exercising
    Our body and mouth are not separate but one system. Therefore, when dealing with an Impaired Mouth, focusing on other health issues might help. If you struggle with obesity, that could be a reason for sleep apnea. While the connection between weight and sleep apnea is complicated, it is observed in many cases that shedding additional weight might improve sleep apnea symptoms.
    You can combine exercise and dietary changes for better health because losing weight is beneficial for your overall health. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss might not be sleep apnea treatments without CPAP, but they sure help when you combine them with multiple factors.
  3. Sleeping Position
    You can consult your healthcare provider regarding the best sleeping position for sleep apnea. Instead of turning on your back or stomach for sleep, try sleeping on your side. Side sleeping is pretty helpful when it comes to obstructive sleep apnea.
  4. Mandibular Advancement Devices
    When your airway is affected, your jaw can help improve the condition. By using a Mandibular device, the upper and lower teeth remain covered while the jaw stays in a position that keeps it from obstructing airflow.  Mandibular advancement devices are convenient to use and cost lower than CPAP. Plus, they do not make any noise! Hence, your doctor might suggest these as a possible sleep apnea treatment without CPAP.
  5. Myofunctional Therapy
    Opting for therapy for the muscles in the face and mouth might be effective in decreasing sleep apnea episodes. Different parts of your body, such as lips, tongue, face, and soft palate, are strengthened, which prevents the tongue from blocking the airway. The exercises involved are termed myofunctional therapy.
  6. Tongue Retaining Devices
    Working on your tongue might be of significant help with your sleep apnea. Using tongue-retaining devices keeps the tongue in a position that prevents it from obstructing the airway.

Ready to Sleep Peacefully?

Constant positive airway pressure devices help with obstructive sleep apnea. However, there are treatments for sleep apnea without CPAP which might improve your condition.

At Whole Health Dental Center, we have the expertise to treat an Impaired Mouth. Dial (703) 385-6425 to get started on the journey to a healthy lifestyle. Or, you can head to our dental clinic at 7115 Leesburg Pike, Suite 310, Falls Church, VA 22043.

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