December 7, 2019
CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. For decades, it has helped patients with sleep apnea in Boca Raton and around the world to breathe easier at night and enjoy more restful sleep. However, CPAP therapy has its downsides; some individuals find it to be uncomfortable and noisy. Hence, many patients to wonder what newer therapies are available to fight obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Let’s discuss some fresh and innovative treatments that may allow you to say goodbye to your CPAP.
Hypoglossus Nerve Stimulation (HNS)
HNS was approved by the FDA relatively recently (2014). It is a treatment wherein a small device is surgically implanted into the chest. It monitors the patient’s breathing and stimulates a nerve that keeps the airway open. Patients have the ability to turn the device on and off. HNS is usually recommended in cases of moderate to severe OSA.
Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP)
EPAP uses disposable valves that are placed over the nose during sleep. As air passes through the valves, pressure is created. That pressure helps to keep the upper airway open and thus reduces OSA symptoms. Unlike CPAP, EPAP requires no power source and no tubing, making it a more convenient option than its predecessor.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is not exactly “new.” In fact, its earliest documented uses stretch all the way back to the 1920s. However, oral appliance therapy as a standard of treatment for OSA has only really been catching on in recent years, partly because of advances in the design of oral appliances, and partly because more people are searching for CPAP alternatives. A 1995 review of the efficacy of oral appliance therapy shined a limelight on this remarkable treatment. Since then, it has gained recognition as one of the best ways to address OSA.
Oral appliance therapy is relatively simple. It uses a small device, which resembles a mouthguard, to reposition the jaw at night. Slightly moving the jaw helps to keep the airway open and can reduce or eliminate OSA symptoms in cases ranging from mild to severe. Many people opt for oral appliances because they are portable, comfortable, and easy to use. They can also help patients to avoid surgery.
Exploring Your Treatment Options
The OSA treatment that is best for you depends on the severity of your condition and your personal preferences. Rather than taking it for granted that you require a CPAP machine, take the time to talk with an expert who is familiar with alternative treatments. For example, a dentist who is trained in sleep medicine is the best person to offer oral appliance therapy. When you are familiar with all of your options, you can settle on one that will relieve your symptoms and fit into your lifestyle.
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Mogell, DMD, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. He has a strong working knowledge of OSA, and he is highly qualified to offer oral appliance therapy. If you would like to speak to Dr. Mogell and learn more about how he may be able to help you find relief from OSA, contact his Boca Raton office today at 561-394-9000.
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