CPAP Masks and Oral Sleep Aids
For people who suffer from sleep apnea or snoring, it can be difficult to decide which treatment option will work best for them. Invasive treatments, even minimally so, are often so uncomfortable and pricey they become a last resort for those seeking relief from breathing issues. Fortunately, many ear, nose and throat specialists offer non-invasive treatment options, such as CPAP masks and oral appliances.
A continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, mask is a treatment option for those who suffer from snoring, sleep apnea or any other similar condition. A CPAP mask can deliver the relief that more invasive, surgical options can provide without the accompanied pain and recovery time.
CPAP masks are designed to fit snugly while covering either the nasal area or the entire face. A small tube carries the oxygen from the CPAP machine to the mask where the person breathes during sleep. The pressurized air is forced into the throat, preventing the airway from closing. By keeping the airway from collapsing, sleep is not interrupted by an inability to breathe.
CPAP masks have been proven to provide the following benefits when used routinely:
· Correction of snoring
· Increase in oxygen levels during sleep
· Normalization of blood pressure
· Improvement in sleep quality
· Decrease in daytime fatigue and sleepiness
Oral appliances are another form of non-invasive treatment for sufferers of snoring and sleep apnea. These are customized apparatuses fashioned to fit in the mouth and designed to keep the tongue and other soft tissues located in the back of the throat from collapsing and blocking the airway. The appliances are able to provide relief from breathing issues without the hassles and discomforts of surgery.
There are two types of oral appliances that are prescribed most frequently by ear, nose and throat specialists. The first type, tongue-retaining appliances, prevent a person’s tongue from obstructing his or her airway by repositioning it within the mouth. The second type, mandibular advancement devices, shift the lower jaw as well as the tongue to prevent airway blockages. Though they can be used alone, oral appliances are sometimes prescribed in tandem with other forms of treatment.
Using oral appliances can have the following benefits for patients:
· Improvement in snoring
· Improvement in night time oxygen levels
· Decrease in daytime fatigue
· Comfort and ease of wear
· Convenience and portability
· Alternative for those who are unable to wear a CPAP mask
· Correction of minor sleep apnea symptoms
A good night’s sleep is pertinent for people to perform at the best of their abilities, whether physical or mental. If people can’t breathe, one cannot possibly expect them to rest well. Sleep specialists have become more and more common to assist people in diagnosing and treating their sleep related breathing issues. CPAP masks and oral appliances are just two of the non-invasive treatment options that ear, nose, and throat doctors have in their arsenal to combat breathing difficulties.