Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is quite common among individuals who struggle to get high-quality sleep. A CPAP machine works by using mildly pressurized air to promote uninterrupted breathing throughout the night. But who exactly needs a CPAP machine? Are there any effective CPAP alternatives? This blog post explains the answers.
CPAP Therapy for Sleep Apnea
CPAP therapy is most commonly prescribed for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a disorder that occurs when tissues in the throat block the free flow of air. Therefore, a person may stop breathing dozens or even hundreds of times throughout the night. A CPAP machine is an effective way to keep the airway open so an individual can enjoy high-quality rest.
Of course, although OSA is the most common reason for CPAP therapy, there are other instances where it can be useful. For example, it may be used for babies who have underdeveloped lungs. The machine can help them breathe until they reach the point where they can easily do so on their own.
If You Snore, Does That Mean You Need a CPAP Machine?
Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. But if you snore, does that automatically mean that you should ask your doctor about getting a CPAP? Not necessarily. In some cases, snoring is nothing more than an occasional nuisance; it may not be affecting your health at all. However, if your snoring is loud and frequent, it would be worth your time to undergo a sleep test to find out if you have OSA.
It is also important to keep in mind that, although CPAP therapy is quite effective, it is not the only treatment that could help you breathe better at night. For example, some patients use a customized oral appliance from a dentist. The appliance gently repositions the jaw in order to keep the airway open. It thereby prevents pauses in breathing and serves as an effective anti-snoring measure. In fact, even patients without OSA may be candidates for an oral appliance if they are concerned about snoring.
You deserve to breathe easily at night! If you are concerned about snoring or sleep apnea, talk to a qualified medical professional about your next steps.
Meet the Practice
Dr. David J. Drummond is a dentist with decades of experience. He enjoys helping patients find relief from snoring and sleep apnea via oral appliance therapy. If you believe you have a sleep disorder, he and our team can help you arrange for appropriate testing. We can also explain your treatment options. To learn more about how we may be able to serve you, contact our Lawton office at 580-355-0344.