CPAP – a continuous positive airway pressure machine – is often the first suggested form of treatment for sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes your airway to become partially obstructed, and CPAP can often help keep this from happening so you can breathe more easily. In some cases, however, CPAP treatment fails.
In this blog, the sleep apnea and snoring physicians at eos sleep explain what steps to take if your CPAP treatment has failed.
How do you know if your CPAP isn’t controlling your snoring and sleep apnea?
You may need an alternative for one of the following reasons:
- Non-compliance: Many people don’t use their machines as directed – for the entire night, every night – because of discomfort. It’s very common to stop using the machine completely.
- Poor results: Although CPAP can be effective for many people, it may not provide enough relief if you have underlying issues – such as a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, allergies, or other conditions – that are causing your snoring and sleep apnea.
What should your next steps be?
If you’re not using your CPAP machine as directed or are still snoring and experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, it’s important to talk to your doctor about a CPAP alternative. Sleep apnea can be a dangerous condition that can affect your overall health and well-being, so it’s important to get effective treatment.
In addition, your doctor may suggest that you undergo a sleep study to get specific data about your breathing, heart rate, and other functions as you sleep. If you’ve had a previous sleep study, the results of the two studies can be compared to check for any evidence of improvement.
What are some CPAP alternatives?
Depending on the cause and severity of your snoring and sleep apnea, the eos sleep doctors will recommend the most effective CPAP alternative. We offer non-invasive as well as minimally invasive procedures that can take as little as 30 minutes to perform.
The following CPAP alternatives can help open up your airways and provide relief from snoring and sleep apnea symptoms:
- Oral appliances – such as tongue-retaining appliances (which repositions the tongue so it doesn’t block your airway during sleep) and mandibular advancement devices (which repositions the lower jaw and tongue to prevent airway collapse)
- Palate Coblation – uses radiofrequency energy to stiffen the soft palate
- Pillar Procedure – uses small implants to stiffen the soft palate
- Coblation Turbinate Reduction – uses radiofrequency energy to reduce the size of enlarged nasal turbinates
- Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty – uses laser technology to shrink the size of a large or long uvula
- Laser-Assisted Tonsil Ablation – uses laser technology to reduce the size of the tonsils
- Radiofrequency Ablation of the Tongue – uses radiofrequency energy to tighten and shrink the base of the tongue
- Balloon Sinuplasty – unblocks sinus cavities using a small balloon that’s inflated and then removed
- Endoscopic Sinus Surgery – uses a small, lighted tube to remove bone or tissue that’s blocking the nasal passages
- Septoplasty – straightens a deviated septum
In addition, inpatient surgeries can also be performed to treat more serious cases of sleep apnea.
If you’re unable to use CPAP or think it’s not alleviating your snoring and sleep apnea symptoms, schedule an appointment with eos sleep. We’ll diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend the most effective type of CPAP alternative to treat your condition and meet your specific needs.