If you’ve experienced troubling symptoms such as snoring, gasping during sleep, exhaustion, or sleepwalking, you’ve probably had a sleep study to assess your condition. One of the most common sleep disorder diagnoses is OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. People with this condition have irregular oral structures that prevent air from flowing properly to their lungs. Insufficient oxygen jolts the body awake in an event called an apnea. You may suffer dozens or even hundreds of apneas per night without even realizing it, but these can be extremely disruptive to your sleep. About one in five Americans suffers from OSA, including a quarter of middle-aged men, according to studies from ResMed. If you struggle with OSA, your doctor probably prescribed a CPAP device to remedy this. Unfortunately, this instrument can be uncomfortable and inconvenient to use. Read on to learn more about OSA, CPAP, and how Dr. Stephen J. Gershberg can simplify your sleep disorder treatment with an oral appliance, a smaller device to open your airways.
What is CPAP Treatment?
CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure.” A CPAP device involves two components: a mask that rests over your nose, mouth, or both, and a machine that transmits a constant stream of pressurized air to this mask. To keep their airways open, patients with OSA must run their CPAP apparatus every night during sleep. This treatment is typically effective at preventing apneas and reducing patients’ risk of associated health issues.
CPAP has helped thousands of OSA patients get better sleep and enjoy healthier lives. However, this treatment is not ideal for many. Using a CPAP machine can cause the following side effects:
- Sore throat
- Abdominal swelling and pressure
- Irritated facial and ocular skin
- Nasal congestion and irritation
- Runny nose or, in some cases, nosebleeds
- Facial tissue bruising
In addition, many patients have the following complaints with their CPAP machines:
- They are bulky and difficult to take on professional or personal trips.
- They can create a sense of claustrophobia.
- They can be noisy, keeping you and your loved ones up at night.
- They often restrict your sleeping positions (sleeping on your stomach or side may be impossible with CPAP treatment).
- They can be uncomfortable to wear, especially if not fitted properly.
- They make it difficult to watch television or read in bed.
Using a CPAP machine may also increase your risk for CSA, or Central Sleep Apnea, which is caused by cognitive issues.
Our Oral Appliance Alternative
If you’ve been prescribed a CPAP machine but dread or even avoid using it, Dr. Gershberg can provide a more comfortable, convenient treatment option. An oral appliance is a custom-made plastic device that fits over or between your teeth to hold your mouth and jaw in a healthy, unobstructed position. We offer many kinds of appliances to suit each patient’s distinctive needs and preferences. If you suffer from OSA, Dr. Gershberg would be happy to assess your condition and fit you for this simple, safe, successful treatment solution.
About Your Bryn Mawr Sleep Apnea Dentist
Dr. Gershberg has developed his extensive dental knowledge and expertise over the past 30 years. He uses his skills to help patients in the Philadelphia area and the Main Line improve every aspect of their oral health. If you have been diagnosed with OSA and are unhappy with your CPAP treatment, please call Main Line Snoring Solutions at 610-527 6700 for more information and to schedule a consultation.