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Pros of Sleep Apnea Treatment Devices
Sleep apnea is becoming more prevalent among Americans. The condition causes brief breathing pauses throughout sleeping and could be life-threatening. Sleep devices are one of the treatment options available for the condition. Read on to learn about them.
Pros of treatment devices
Oral devices are FDA-approved as the primary treatment for mild to moderate apnea. The device is a splint worn over the teeth during sleep. It shifts the lower jaw slightly forward to create more space behind the throat and open the airways. Before now, they were used as an alternative treatment for patients that could not be treated with CPAP therapy. Some of the advantages of using sleep apnea treatment devices include:
Custom-fit and easy to use
The oral device is designed to fit the patient’s mouth and jaw and is almost like sleeping with a sports mouthguard. Some people may feel claustrophobic when using a CPAP mask, and therefore, opt for an oral appliance since it does not cover their mouth or face nor deliver pressurized air. With a sleep apnea treatment device, the nose and mouth can breathe properly without support.
Fewer side effects
Some CPAP users complain that continuous use of CPAP masks or head and chin straps can result in ingrown beard hair, sore spots, skin creases, chafing and acne breakouts. Although these issues can be corrected and handled by changing the mask, some people opt for an oral device because of less contact with the hair, skin and head.
Sleeping positions do not affect treatment
Restless sleepers who are fond of tossing and turning may get their CPAP tubing all tangled and detached from the machine or mask. The mouth device stays in the mouth, regardless of the sleeping position.
An oral device is a small, single unit and comes with a carrying case. Patients can carry it in their pocket or hand. This makes it perfect for traveling, sleeping in public areas or for extended naps.
Getting an oral device may be a better alternative if the CPAP machine runs out of filters, needs repair or replacement. It is easier to maintain the mouthpiece than the tubes and masks, which demand regular cleaning and routine replacement parts. Oral devices do not require a regular power supply to work.
As CPAP becomes more popular as more people are getting diagnosed, some still feel embarrassed at the idea of wearing a mask to bed. Oral appliances are more discreet and no one will be able to tell what the device’s purpose is. Some people also do not like having a big, whirring machine beside them. Oral devices work quietly.
The result of sleep apnea treatment is only achievable by complying with treatment. This means using the machine consistently throughout every night. The compliance level is how the insurance company will decide whether to keep covering the treatment at the same level. Reports have shown that half of CPAP users stop treatment within a month. With oral devices, compliance is easier.
It is evident that sleep apnea treatment devices work effectively for reducing symptoms, but it only serves as a worthy alternative when CPAP therapy is not feasible. Talk to your dentist about getting a treatment device.
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