Sleep Apnea is a dangerous disorder with multiple medical problems associated with untreated Sleep Apnea.
There are many methods used to treat sleep apnea. The standard medical treatment is CPAP or versions of CPAP called BiPAP and APAP.
CPAP in any of it’s forms is very effective. Unfortunately, CPAP fails the majority of patients due to non-compliance, or minimal compliance.
25% of patients use their CPAP and love it but 75% of patients fail to properly treat their sleep apnea due to not using it or using it for too short a period of time.
CPAP Alternatives include comfortable oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. There are currently over 120 different appliances available. They are considered a first line treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea and a second line approach for severe sleep apnea when patients refuse CPAP or cannot tolerate CPAP. See the patient Oral Appliance Testimonials at the end of this post.
Oral Appliances are also used by patients who like their CPAP but do not take it with them when they travel. Severe apnea puts patients at risk for heart attacks and strokes , especially in the early morning. Traveling without CPAP can be dangerous. Patients who only wear their CPAP for an hour or two at night are also at high risk for heart attacks and strokes.
Colin Sullivan who invented CPAP uses an oral appliance. I have many physicians as patients who also prefer an oral appliance to CPAP.
Some patients are not good candidates for Oral Appliances due to severity. In most cases these patients are obese to morbidly obese. They are often good candidates for combination therapy which tuilized an oral appliance and CPAP. Some oral appliances are designed to increase the comfort of the nasal CPAP.
Combination therapy can also be an oral appliance and a night time positioner to keep patients off their back where sleep apnea is usually more severe.
Oral appliance therapy is NOT indicated for patients with primarily Central Sleep Apnea but mays ill be used to increase comfort of the masks.