Positive airway pressure, or PAP (as it is commonly known), has been the gold standard for those who suffer from sleep apnea. It uses a device that creates a good seal around the nose and mouth to keep the airways open during the night. Unfortunately, it can be a bit uncomfortable and cumbersome to use, and for this reason, some patients would rather try an alternative method of treatment. Consider some of the main recommended alternatives here:
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)
These devices move the lower jaw forward slightly, which opens up the airway. They are easy to use and quite popular, especially for children who suffer from sleep apnea because of their small jaw size.
Similar to MADs, these devices also open up the airway through the mouth by moving the lower jaw forward slightly. For this reason, they are best used on those who suffer from mild sleep apnea and want to avoid using a CPAP machine.
Over-the-counter (OTC) Devices
There are many over-the-counter devices for snoring and sleep apnea that can be effective if you find the right one for you. They all work slightly differently, but each device helps to keep the airway open through a variety of means, including chin straps, tongue retainers, and even nasal plugs.
For those who are slightly overweight, losing just 10% of your body weight can make a big difference in how you sleep at night. If you lose enough weight, then it is possible that you won’t need treatment anymore because your sleep apnea could be cured naturally.
There are also invasive procedures that may work well for people who have failed all other forms of treatment, but these should really be a last resort. Invasive procedures include surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), and laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP).
If you have additional questions about alternatives to CPAP for sleep apnea, we will be happy to answer them. Contact us today or schedule an appointment to visit Dr. Samuel Cress, DDS.