Why is CPAP used and What are CPAP Alternatives
A continuous positive air pressure machine or CPAP is a device that is used to treat sleep apnea. Although it is primarily used to treat sleep apnea, it may also be used to treat other conditions such as congestive heart failure. Today, many people are looking for CPAP alternatives.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to suddenly stop breathing during different periods at night. Snoring, morning headaches and daytime sleepiness are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Congestive heart failure is a condition where the heart is unable to pump the amount of blood that the body needs. Edema (swelling) in the legs, shortness of breath and fatigue are some of the symptoms of congestive heart failure.
Sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and stop a person from breathing normally. Diabetics, overweight people and those who have large necks are most likely to be affected by this condition.
Congestive heart failure is the result of a weakened heart muscle. High blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, diabetes and certain medications may increase a person’s risk of developing congestive heart failure.
The CPAP machines works by providing the patient with a continuous flow of oxygen. It also keeps the mouth closed so that the patient can breathe through his or her nostrils.
The CPAP machine is intended to help keep the airways open so that the patient can breathe easier.
Problems with the CPAP Machine
Even though the CPAP machine has been proven to be effective for treating sleep apnea, it does have its disadvantages. Many patients do not use this device as often as they should so non-compliance is a major issue.
Some patients have reported experiencing unpleasant side effects such as nasal congestion, dizziness and ear pain. Additionally, this machine also has the tendency to alter the alignment of a person’s teeth.
Dental devices are considered to be one of the most viable CPAP alternatives. Two of the most widely used devices are the mandibular adjustment device and the tongue restraining device.
The mandibular adjustment device helps keep the airway open by repositioning the lower jab. The tongue restraining device keeps the airway open by holding the tongue life.
Dental devices have a higher compliance rate than the CPAP machine. They also a help reduce snoring and improve sleep quality.
Sleep Positioning Devices
Many people who have sleep apnea sleep on their backs. Health experts have found that sleeping on one’s side can help prevent the airway from becoming obstructed.
Sleep positioning devices are growing in popularity as CPAP alternatives and can make it easier for patients to sleep on their sides. These devices are also much less expensive and much easier to comply with than the CPAP machine.
Physical therapy is one of the sleep apnea alternatives that is growing in popularity. A physical therapist can teach the patient exercises that strengthen the muscles in the airway.
Physical therapy is considered one of the more organic CPAP alternatives especially when considering the cost of using a CPAP machine. It also does not come with unpleasant side effects.
BIPAP stands for bilevel positive airway pressure. This device was developed in the late 1990s, which makes it one of the newest CPAP alternatives. BIPAP works by delivering high air pressure for inhaling and low air pressure for exhaling. This electrical device is much easier to use and adapt to than the CPAP machine.
Making changes in one’s lifestyle have been proven to be very effective for sleep apnea treatment and is one of the least expensive and least invasive CPAP alternatives.
Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of patients who have sleep apnea are over their ideal body weight.
Losing as little as 15 pounds can help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. Exercising and following a healthy diet are the keys to losing weight.
Additionally, experts also advise against smoking because that can worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea. It is much less expensive to make a change in one’s lifestyle than it is to use a CPAP machine.
Surgery carries risk, so it is usually a last resort as CPAP alternatives. One of the benefits of surgery is that it can help permanently cure sleep apnea. One of the most commonly performed surgical procedures is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This is a procedure that removes excess tissue from the back of the throat.
People who are considering CPAP alternatives should consult with a doctor. Only a doctor can determine the best sleep apnea treatment for a particular patient.