If you want to get rid of your CPAP mask, you’re far from alone. After all, what good is a CPAP mask if you’re not even wearing it every night? Patients who find a CPAP mask uncomfortable and inconvenient may want to explore oral appliance therapy as an alternative. With this approach, the patient wears a custom-designed appliance that is similar to a mouthguard. The appliance fits comfortably in the patient’s mouth and helps to hold the jaw or tongue in a position that makes it less likely that the airway will be blocked while the patient is asleep.
Oral appliance therapy differs from the CPAP device in a number of important ways that tend to improve compliance with wearing the appliance as directed. As discussed above, the oral appliance worn to prevent sleep apnea is much more comfortable than a CPAP mask. In fact, many patients report that they have significant trouble sleeping with a CPAP mask. So, they may get as little rest wearing the mask as they do while suffering from sleep apnea. Additionally, the oral appliance is more convenient for travel, as it can be tucked away in an overnight bag. When you use a CPAP device, you have to drag the entire piece of equipment with you wherever you may go.
Sleep apnea is associated with significant health risks, so in order to protect your health, it’s important to get treatment for this condition. Doing so may reduce the effects of issues like high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Additionally, effective sleep apnea treatment also improves quality of life issues, like energy levels, mood and the ability to focus. If you’re not using your CPAP mask, you’re not getting any of these benefits.
Do you want a better option for sleep apnea treatment than your CPAP mask? Schedule an evaluation at our office to see if oral appliance therapy is a better match for your needs.